Friday, December 14 at 9:00 PM ET
CHI Health Center Omaha
The Creighton Bluejays look to get back on track when they host the Green Bay Phoenix on Friday night. Creighton has lost two straight games, 103-92 against Gonzaga and 94-75 against Nebraska while Green Bay crushed Division III member Wisconsin-Stout 112-46.
Green Bay's style of play and length on the perimeter can make Creighton's ball handlers, Mitch Ballock and Ty-Shon Alexander uncomfortable. The Phoenix rank 16th in the nation, forcing turnovers on 15 percent of their opponents’ possessions so the Bluejays have to play smart and take care of the ball.
Creighton has to make second half adjustments, Gonzaga and Nebraska shredded their defense, particularly in the second half of both games. Gonzaga scored on eight of their first 10 possessions after halftime (20 points) and Nebraska scored on 11 of their first 15 possessions after the break (25 points). The Bluejays have to put an end to this if they want to avoid an upset.
Another key to this game for Creighton is getting to the free-throw line. The Bluejays usually play at a fast pace to wear down opponents in up-and-down shootouts, not letting the clock stop, even if it takes them to the free-throw line. That gameplan has to change on Friday, they have to get to the charity stripe because it has been one of Green Bay's weaknesses. Oregon shot 42 free-throws in their 83-72 win against Green Bay and Iowa went to the line 45 times in their 93-82 victory, so Creighton has to follow their example.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
The Green Bay Phoenix are:
3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 Friday games
The Creighton Bluejays are:
No key trends
The Over is:
6-0 in Green Bay's last six games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
8-1 in Green Bay's last nine road games
12-2 in Green Bay's last 14 overall
6-0 in Creighton's last six overall
6-0 in Creighton's last six non-conference games
4-0 in Creighton's last four home games
Green Bay has actually played at faster pace than Creighton, attempting more shots in transition than them. The Phoenix rank 10th in adjusted tempo with 76.3 possessions per 40 minutes according to KenPom's rankings, so this game will be a track meet, which benefits the Bluejays. Look for Creighton to pull away late and cover in a high-scoring game.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Creighton -18 (-115) & Over at Jazz Sports