Creighton Bluejays vs. St. John’s Red Storm Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2024

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Trey Alexander finally has started to find his groove for No. 22 Creighton.

Alexander has stepped up in Big East play, and the Bluejays are ready to ride the hot hand on Saturday when they face St. John’s in Omaha, Neb.

Creighton’s second-leading scorer from a season ago, Alexander was plagued by inefficiency during the nonconference slate, shooting just 41.7 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from 3-point range while averaging 15.6 points across 11 games.

But since then, Alexander has posted 19.4 points per contest while seeing his shooting splits rise to 52.9 percent overall and 38.1 percent from deep across five conference games.

“Big East play, so got to be at your best,” Alexander said. “Obviously want to have a chance to win us a regular-season title and give us a good chance going into March. … Right now, I’m locked in. Just trying to play my game and letting the game come to me.”

The Bluejays (12-4, 3-2 Big East) most recently beat DePaul 84-58 on Tuesday, extending their winning streak to three games.

Alexander finished with 17 points in the victory, while Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Kalkbrenner led the way with 20 apiece. Scheierman and Kalkbrenner also grabbed eight and nine boards, respectively.

Like Creighton, the Red Storm (12-4, 4-1) have been rolling, rattling off four straight wins. Three of those victories have come against Big East foes, including Wednesday’s 75-73 showing against Providence, as St. John’s is off to its best start in conference action since the 2000-01 season.

Still, Alexander said he believes the Bluejays match up well with the Red Storm.

“Obviously Rick Pitino’s a really good coach, he’s obviously a Hall of Famer,” Alexander said. “But I think that the game plan (coach Greg McDermott)’s going to set up for us on the offensive end is going to be really good.

“I think that with them always changing up their defense … it keeps us on our toes, but I also feel like our offense is very reversible. We can do a lot of different things with our offense.”

Daniss Jenkins and Joel Soriano each netted 16 points as St. John’s held off the Friars. RJ Luis Jr. paired 12 points with eight rebounds while also nabbing three steals for the Red Storm, who prevailed despite shooting 37.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

St. John’s also weathered a 31-point, 13-rebound performance from Providence guard Devin Carter.

“I thought (Wednesday) was a great learning experience for our basketball team,” Pitino said. “I told them after the game, I said, you have to understand why you could potentially have lost this game by taking the shots that you took.

“… Carter, by himself, was physically tougher than our entire team. … So this was great for our team to understand — if you rebound like that, you take challenged shots like that and you allow a guard to rebound like that, you’re going to lose some close ones.”

Saturday marks the 28th meeting between the teams, with Creighton leading the all-time series 17-10.

–Field Level Media

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