Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2) vs Creighton Bluejays (3-1)
Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 – 6 p.m. CT
CHI Health Center Omaha
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Internet: FOX Sports App
1. All hands on deck on defense
Creighton has its usual star power in preseason first-team All-American point guard Marcus Zegarowski, but the weapons go well beyond just him for the Bluejays.
Led by Christian Bishop’s 14.5 points per game (on an 81.1% field-goal percentage), CU has four players scoring in double figures this season and two others averaging 8.0 ppg. Denzel Mahoney (13.3 ppg) dropped 19 points last time out at No. 5 Kansas.
As a result, Creighton comes into tonight’s game averaging 82.0 points over its first three contests while shooting 51.0 percent from the field as a team.
Needless to say, this will be one of the most dynamic offenses Nebraska will face this season. The Huskers have been strong defensively all year, but that will be put to the test in a major way tonight.
2. Take care of the ball
After averaging just under 10 turnovers through its first three games this season, Nebraska has gotten a little careless with the basketball the past two times out.
Following its 15 turnovers against South Dakota, the Huskers gave the ball away a season-high 16 times in the loss to Georgia Tech.
The most concerning part is that of those 31 turnovers over the last two games, only 14 came from opponent steals. That means NU has turned it over 17 times on unforced errors during that span.
Creightion has recorded nine steals in each of its past two games and owns a +27 margin in points off turnovers for the season.
The Huskers can’t afford to give the Bluejays any additional possessions or scoring opportunities, so ball security will be of the utmost importance.
3. Start fast
Outside of Nebraska’s blowout win in Lincoln back in 2018, its games vs. Creighton have not started well at all over the past 20 years.
The common theme in the Bluejays winning 17 of the past 21 regular-season meetings with NU has been their ability to jump out to commanding leads right out of the gates.
Not only has CU led at halftime in 17 of the last 21 games, but it’s also held double-digit advantages at the break in eight of those wins.
As if that weren’t enough, the Huskers have only eclipsed 30 first-half points twice in their past 17 games vs. Creighton.
The Bluejays are a whopping 196-36 under head coach Greg McDermott when leading at halftime. If Nebraska doesn’t knock down shots early and weather the intial storm, this one could be over by intermission.
Creighton (-14) 79, Nebraska 62
Robin’s season record: 3-2
vs. the spread: 3-2