CHICAGO – Creighton and DePaul posted Friday victories while five other EAST teams prepare for Saturday contests.
Creighton (7-3) used a 14-2 run in the second half to pull away from Green Bay and record an 86-65 win before 17,147 at the CHI Health Center. All four Bluejays who reached double figures are guards. Mitch Ballock led with 19 points followed by Ty-Shon Alexander (17 points), Marcus Zegarowski (13) and Kaleb Joseph (11). Creighton shot 14-of-33 from 3-point range. The Bluejays have made 117 3-pointers, the most in school history after 10 games.
Max Strus registered career highs of 34 points and 13 rebounds in a 90-70 victory against Illinois-Chicago. He tied a school record with eight 3-pointers. Devin Gage added 15 points, six steals, five assists and five rebounds. The 7-2 start is DePaul’s best since the 2002-03 squad also began with the same record.
Today’s schedule shows two games at 12-noon ET. Villanova travels to No. 1 Kansas. ESPN will televise at noon ET. The Wildcats (8-3) had their six-game winning streak stopped with a loss to Pennsylvania. Villanova beat Kansas 94-79 at last year’s Final Four.
FS1 has three BIG EAST contests, starting with Georgetown hosting SMU at noon. It’s the first of a four-game homestand for the Hoyas. In the only other meeting between the two schools, the Hoyas won 37-36 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1984 when Georgetown went on to win the national championship. Current head coach Patrick Ewing had 10 points in that low-scoring game.
Seton Hall and Rutgers annually play the Garden State Hardwood Classic. This year’s meeting is 2 p.m. at the Prudential Center, to be televised on FS1. Twenty of the last 24 meetings have been decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. The Pirates’ last game was an overtime win over Kentucky.
Butler battles No. 25 Indiana in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. The game is scheduled to tip at 3:45 p.m. on CBS. The Bulldogs are giving up only 63.3 ppg, best in the BIG EAST. They are 5-2 in the Crossroads Classic and 11-4 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
FS1 finishes its BIG EAST coverage with Xavier hosting Eastern Kentucky at 8 p.m. The Musketeers (6-4) have sold out 24 straight games at Cintas Center, including all six this season. Xavier was in exams this week after last Saturday’s loss at Cincinnati which ended a four-game winning streak.