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Houston Baptist (4-6) at (25) Creighton (7-1)



Saturday, December 17th, 8:05 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Qwest Center Omaha (17,260) -- Omaha, Nebraska. Television: None. Home Record: HBU 3-1, Creighton 4-0. Away Record: HBU 0-4, Creighton 0-0. Neutral Record: HBU 1-1, Creighton 2-1. Conference Record: HBU 0-0, Creighton 1-0. Series Record: Creighton leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: The 25th-ranked Creighton Bluejays are off to a strong start, and they have an outstanding chance to add another victory to their impressive record when the Houston Baptist Huskies visit Omaha this evening.

Houston Baptist's 87-76 victory over Campbell on Wednesday was significant, as it marked head coach Ron Cottrell's 400th career win. The triumph was the second in a row for the Huskies, but they are still just 4-6 overall this season, including 0-4 in true road affairs. They won't begin Great West Conference play until January 19 against NJIT on the road.

The Bluejays were picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference after returning 10 lettermen and three starters from last year's 23-win team, so the fact that this club is off to a 7-1 start certainly isn't surprising. Creighton actually opened the campaign with seven consecutive wins before finally tasting defeat in the most recent outing, an 80-71 setback to Saint Joseph's on the road. Creighton has won 14 consecutive home games. Furthermore, the Bluejays have won 34 straight non-conference, regular-season home games against unranked foes since falling to Drexel on February 17, 2007.

Creighton has won both of its previous series meetings with Houston Baptist, including a 29-point romp over the Huskies two seasons ago.

Houston Baptist freshman Marcel Smith scored 14 points to pace six double- digit scorers in the win over Campbell earlier this week. Marcus Davis and Ronald March added 12 points apiece for the Huskies, who got 11 points from Tyler Russell. Art Bernardi and Anthony Hill rounded out the group with 10 points each, and the team shot 51.7 percent from the field to claim the win. Bernardi is averaging a team-best 14.8 ppg this season on 55.8 percent shooting from the field, and he is pulling down 6.0 rpg as well. Marcus Davis checks n with 13.9 ppg on 48.5 percent three-point efficiency, and Russell adds 12.5 ppg. As for March, he brings 11.0 ppg to the fold for Houston Baptist, which is generating 77.2 ppg. Unfortunately, the squad is permitting 81.7 ppg to foes on 49.6 percent field goal efficiency.

Creighton's Doug McDermott has been sensational this season, as he has topped 20 points in seven consecutive outings and is averaging 24.0 ppg on 62.6 percent shooting from the floor. McDemott is also ripping down 9.1 rpg and is playing like an All-American. The only other double-digit scorer for the club is Antoine Young with his 11.1 ppg, and he places second on the roster with 36 assists. The Bluejays are generating 85.0 ppg on 51.6 percent overall field goal efficiency, and they are shooting 46.2 percent from behind the arc. Defensively, they are limiting opponents to 69.4 ppg. In the nine-point loss to Saint Joseph's last time out, McDermott logged 26 points and 10 rebounds. Young added 15 points in that affair, while Gregory Echenique pitched in 10 points. The Bluejays shot just 34.4 percent from the floor in the first half and played poor defense in the second half. They were also outrebounded by a 40-28 margin in the affair.

Expect the Bluejays to bounce back strong from their loss to Saint Joseph's. Houston Baptist simply doesn't have the talent to hang with McDermott and company.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Creighton 84, Houston Baptist 56

12/17 10:33:16 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI