No. 10 Creighton faces Oral Roberts after eight-day layoff (Dec 17, 2016)
OMAHA, Neb. -- After an eight-day break from games for finals week, 10th-ranked Creighton is ready to return to the hardwood and put their undefeated record on the line on Saturday against Oral Roberts.
The 10-0 Bluejays haven't played since routing Longwood 113-58 on Dec. 9. That was the fifth-highest scoring total in school history and the most since a 115-80 win on Jan. 19, 1985, over Indiana State.
Creighton heads into its 7 p.m. matchup against Oral Roberts at CenturyLink Center as one of just remaining teams with an undefeated record. The Jays and Gonzaga are 10-0, Villanova and UCLA are 11-0, and USC and Baylor are 9-0 through games played Friday.
Oral Roberts is 2-9 with wins over John Brown and Rogers State. The Golden Eagles are 0-8 in road games, including setbacks at Baylor, Michigan State and Oklahoma.
Kris Martin leads the Golden Eagles in scoring at 15.0 points per game. Albert Owens is next at 13.7 and a team-leading nine blocked shots. Jalen Bradley, a Norfolk, Neb., native, averages 12.7 points and 4.7 assists per game.
Golden Eagles guard Darian Harris spent the 2013-14 season in Omaha as a redshirt freshman in the Creighton program. Harris transferred to ORU after the season and has scored 124 career points and pulled down 110 rebounds in 64 games with the Golden Eagles.
The 113 points against Longwood was the third time this season that Creighton has cracked the century mark. That total also pushed the team's per game average to 91.6 to rank No. 5 nationally.
Those 916 points are 50 more than Creighton has ever scored in its first 10 games of any season. The previous best was 866 in the 1965-66 campaign.
Creighton also continues to be among the nation's leaders in field goal and three-point shooting. The Jays are second in both categories, shooting 54.4 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from long distance.
Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster has scored 15 or more points in nine of Creighton's first 10 games and is averaging a team-leading 17.8 points per game.
Senior Maurice Watson, a preseason All-Big East selection, is also living up to his lofty preseason expectations. Watson is the nation's active leader in career assists with 730 and he leads the nation in assists per game this season with 9.1.
Two native Omahans also are making big contributions for the Bluejays at both ends of the floor. Sophomore Khyri Thomas averages 13.3 points per game while shooting 60 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Redshirt freshman Justin Patton is shooting 80.3 percent from the field (second nationally) while averaging 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Twenty-four of Patton's field goals have come on dunks.
After Saturday's game, the Bluejays travel to Tempe, Ariz., to face Arizona State on Tuesday before another eight-day break over Christmas that precedes the beginning of Big East play on Dec. 28 with a home game against Seton Hall.