NC State-Creighton Preview
After rolling over Washington State on Friday night, the next test for Creighton at the Paradise Jam tournament will be a bit more challenging.
The No. 22-ranked Bluejays will play North Carolina State at 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday in the winner's bracket of the eight-team tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. The game is scheduled to be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
There was no letdown by the Jays (3-0) en route to their 103-77 win over Washington State three nights after an upset of No. 9 Wisconsin at Omaha's CenturyLink Center.
Creighton led 25-12 and 38-22 in the first half before taking a 60-36 halftime lead. Cole Huff led the Bluejays with a season-high 19 points, and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster and 7-foot freshman center Justin Patton finished with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
The 3-point game was working for the Jays as they made 15 of 27 shots from beyond the arc. Foster (4 of 5) and Huff (4 of 6) led the way, and Isaiah Zierden was 2 of 4 on his way to scoring eight points.
All 14 players who suited up for Creighton scored at least two points against the Cougars (2-1).
One player the Jays will need to focus on in Sunday's matchup with the 3-0 Wolfpack is Abdul-Malik Abu. The 6-foot-8 junior led NC State to a 85-72 comeback win in its first round over Montana with 25 points. Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. added 21 points.
Montana led 40-38 at halftime, and the score was still tied with under 13 minutes to play. When the Wolfpack went on a 20-8 run, Abu had nine of NC State's points.
If the Bluejays can force Abu, Smith and NC State's other top scorers into taking quicker, less effective shots, Creighton proved it can be a force on the boards in the win over Washington State.
After getting outrebounded 42-27 in the win over Wisconsin, Creighton won the battle of the board 39-33 with the Cougars. Huff led the way with six rebounds, and Martin Krampelj and Ronnie Harrell Jr. both had five apiece.