Creighton Bluejays vs. Seton Hall Pirates Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 28th 2024

Third place in the Big East Conference will be on the line when Seton Hall travels to No. 12 Creighton on Wednesday night in Omaha, Neb., for a rematch of a three-overtime classic.

The Pirates (18-9, 11-5) and Bluejays (20-8, 11-6) played one of the best games of the year on Jan. 20 when Creighton pulled out a 97-94 win at Seton Hall after 55 minutes of basketball.

Since then, both teams have separated themselves from the middle of the pack in their league, and Wednesday’s game likely will go a long way toward sorting out seeding for the Big East tournament. No. 5-ranked Marquette, in second place at 12-4 in the conference, also will play that night.

On Feb. 20, Creighton became just the third team to defeat league leader UConn this season. The Bluejays went 14-for-28 from 3-point range in an 85-66 home thrashing of then-No. 1 UConn.

That hyperefficient offense wasn’t quite as present five days later at St. John’s. The Bluejays trailed most of the way in an 80-66 loss that ended their four-game winning streak.

Trey Alexander went for 31 points, but fellow guards Baylor Scheierman and Steven Ashworth combined to shoot 7 of 25 from the field and 2 of 16 from the arc.

Alexander was more concerned with Creighton’s defensive effort.

“As a team, I know that we’re gonna make shots in the future,” he said. “I know that Baylor’s not gonna go 1-for-10 (from 3-point range) on many given nights. I know that we’re gonna get (Ryan Kalkbrenner) more touches in the paint. I know that Steven is going to make half the shots that he does.

“So I’m not really worried about us making shots. It’s more about us on the defensive end that I’m worried about. Just us being able to find that teeth and making sure that we can stop opponents because we like to play in transition. For us to do that, we’ve got to get stops.”

That transition game was on full display when the Bluejays visited the Pirates five weeks ago. Kalkbrenner worked hard for his 28 points in 54 minutes, while Alexander scored 23 points in 53 minutes and Scheierman had 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists playing all 55 minutes.

In a game with 16 lead changes and 10 ties, Seton Hall leaned on guard Kadary Richmond, who had the second triple-double in program history with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

He sat out the next two games with soreness, but since he’s returned the Pirates have gone 5-1, most recently beating Butler 76-64 at home on Saturday.

Dre Davis (21 points on 9-of-13 shooting), Richmond (20 points) and Al-Amir Dawes (19) combined for 60 of Seton Hall’s 76 points. The backcourt trio, now in its second season as a unit, gives Seton Hall an answer to the Alexander-Scheierman-Ashworth lineup that Creighton deploys.

“They don’t get enough credit,” Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway said of his guards. “I don’t think Dre gets a lot of credit, but we’re not worried about that. Things speak for themselves. We’re just trying to take these games day by day.”

Scheierman averages 18.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, and Alexander is at 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists for Creighton.

Richmond — who is at 16.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game — paces the Pirates with help from Dawes (14.6 ppg) and Davis (14.0 ppg, 49.8 percent from the field).

–Field Level Media

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