Preview: Seton Hall trying for season sweep of Creighton

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No. 19 Seton Hall travels to Nebraska to battle Creighton after the Pirates came back from a 13-point deficit to win in the first meeting.

Yes, it’s the time of year again where we will start to see Big East opponents for the second time. Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself as the next school to resurface is Marquette on February 7th, but we are undeniably entering the thick of league play.

Following a workman-like-but-not-spectacular win over Georgetown in front of a packed Prudential Center, No. 19 Seton Hall (15-3, 4-1) will play in front of another raucous crowd, but this time away from home.

Aiming for just their fourth 5-1 start to Big East play (’92-93, ’99-00, ’11-12), Seton Hall must complete a regular season sweep of Creighton (14-4, 4-2) for the second time to do so.

Previously ranked, Creighton dropped to the first team outside of the AP poll — A.K.A. No. 26– after beating Butler but losing at Xavier this past week. Before that, the Bluejays won three straight against mid-tier opponents after a loss in their league-opener in Newark.

While a little shaky away from the friendly confines of CenturyLink Arena, Creighton is an intimidating 27-3 over their last 30 home games; playing in front a routinely sold-out crowd has its added benefits.

Five-point underdogs tonight, Seton Hall has its work cut out if you remember the last meeting between the two: the Bluejays led by double digits early in the second half and held a 76-69 lead with ten to play. In the end, a big performance from the ‘Big Four’ (plus Mike Nzei) won out in a comeback.

Leading scorer Marcus Foster has been lights out from deep (17-of-36) since missing all four attempts after an early knee injury scare in Newark, while super redshirt sophomore (this is his first true season after two redshirts) Martin Krampelj is demanding neutrals to remember his name by averaging 13.3 ppg and 9.6 rpg in league play including a career-high 23 against the Hall that included seemingly infinite dunks.

It should be a fun one tonight with a bunch of seniors on a mission up against great coaching and a dangerous environment (and a pretty good team). It’s key for Seton Hall to withstand runs as best they can as they’ve haunted them in all prior away-from-home losses.

A win would prime this weekend’s visit from Xavier as an opportunity for Seton Hall to move into sole possession of second place in the league, should they win both games. While Kevin Willard won’t admit it, he breaks seasons up into chunks of games, and splitting the next two is the realistic goal here.

Stat to watch: Angel Delgado has recorded 17 consecutive double-doubles in Big East regular season play, dating back to the 76-46 loss at Villanova a year ago, yesterday.

Series history (since 1950): 11-5 SH

KenPom says: No. 23 Creighton 84, No. 27 Seton Hall 79

Projected Creighton starters
G – Davion Mintz
G – Marcus Foster
G/F – Khyri Thomas
F – Martin Krampelj
F – Toby Hegner

Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado

TV: 8:30et, FS1
Radio: AM970 / SIRIUS 135 / XM 203
Opening line: Seton Hall +5

  • Andrew Herbst

    Tonight will be a great test for us. Hopefully we can establish the ball to Angel inside. We need to get off to a fast start and take the crowd out of the game. GO PIRATES!

    • VinBick

      The Jay’s crowd is always pumped, but the Pirates have the fire power to do well in their corn field!

      • Andrew Herbst

        We sure do!

  • SHU95

    Looking forward to a fun to watch game with a hopeful Pirate victory. I would like to see Nzei bring the energy tonight. I feel like he has been slightly MIA the last couple games. His contributions make a difference. Sonogo has shown a little more offense over the last few as well, hope that continues tonight.

  • 2003Pirate

    Im really hoping the Pirates get amped up and bring the energy to Creighton. A regular season sweep of this team would be fantastic.

  • cali jack

    This is a tough game on the road versus a good team,with a good coach in front of a partisan,sold out crowd.We will need our A game for 40 minutes in order to win.Lets hope for the best.Would be a huge win.

    • 2003Pirate

      You are correct. If there are any long offensive droughts or defensive lapses that allow a large blue jay run that will be the game. Also we CANT turn the ball over in transition, miss easy layups, and have an above average night from the charity stripe. Keys to victory right there…. LETS GO PIRATES!!!!!

  • Jersey Jerry

    The target on our back keeps getting BIGGER and tonight just about ALL of the 17,560 seats in CenturyLink Center will be filled w/Bluejay fans … could be one of the loudest places to play in the Big East today.
    Take the crowd out early in the game and we might have a chance; get down by 15 or more it’s going to be a very very tough night to come back. Remember, we were down by 11 (53-42) at half-time at home and we just can’t let that happen in their house. Krampelj & Foster will get their points; gotta hold Thomas to another bad night shooting or it could be a looooong plane ride home.
    Looking forward to our senior’s do’n their thing and making the trip back home fun; just like the game! GO HALL!!!

    • 2003Pirate

      Creighton was also shooting LIGHTS OUT in that 1st half of the first game that did not carry over into the second half.

  • PadrePirate

    Krampelj looked surprisingly strong, maybe even outplayed Angel, in the first game. Pirates need to do a better job of boxing out and taking care of the defensive glass. 2nd chance opps have been killing us the past 3 games. I’d love to see Desi or MP get hot early. Climbing out of a 1H hole is not gonna happen in front of a rowdy sell-out crowd. This is probably our toughest game yet of the BE slate. A win tonight would be huge. I’m guessing a more lop sided loss tonight gets our guys fired up to beat Xavier on Sat.

  • Matty P

    My two keys for this game would be keeping the crowd out of the game and getting back on defense. If Creighton gets off to a quick start and the crowd gets behind them it will cause a lot of trouble. And if they do get off to a quick start it will likely be due to them playing fast which will mean the team needs to get back and find their man. Creighton is 19ths in adjusted tempo and has the 8th shortest average possession length according to kenpom.

  • LBP

    Man for Man –SHU is better. Deeno has to shoot better. Can not afford a 5 minute lapse. This Game will be huge for seeding in NCAA– Hall by 6