No. 13 Creighton faces tough test vs No. 22 Xavier

December 21, 2020

No. 22 Xavier (8-0, 1-0) vs. No. 13 Creighton (6-2, 2-1)

CHI Health Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska; Wednesday, 3 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: No. 22 Xavier presents a tough challenge for No. 13 Creighton. Creighton has played a ranked team only once this season and lost. Xavier has moved up to No. 22 in the latest AP rankings following a win over Marquette last week.

PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game's outcome. Denzel Mahoney, Damien Jefferson and Mitch Ballock have collectively scored 42 percent of Creighton's points this season and 49 percent of the team's points over its last five games. For Xavier, Paul Scruggs, Zach Freemantle, Nate Johnson and Jason Carter have combined to account for 65 percent of all Xavier scoring, including 72 percent of the team's points over its last five games.

SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Scruggs has made or assisted on 46 percent of all Xavier field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 23 field goals and 19 assists in those games.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Musketeers have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Bluejays. Creighton has 52 assists on 93 field goals (55.9 percent) across its past three outings while Xavier has assists on 63 of 91 field goals (69.2 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: The Creighton offense has recorded a turnover on only 14.9 percent of its possessions, which is the 17th-best rate in the country. The Xavier defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 16.9 percent of all possessions (ranked 290th among Division I teams).


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