Saturday marks Creighton’s (2-0) first game away from the friendly confines of CenturyLink Center Omaha, as the Bluejays travel to Philadelphia to visit the Saint Joseph’s (PA) Hawks (2-0). Unlike their home arena, the Jays will be playing at the intimate Hagan Arena, which sits 4,200 rowdy Hawks fans.
History: This is the eleventh meeting between the two Jesuit schools. St. Joe’s won the first four meetings, which took place from 1938 to 1981, and included the Hawks beating the Bluejays in the NCAA tourney in ’81 59-57. The teams met again later that year, which was won by Creighton 73-72. It wouldn’t be until 2007 that the teams played each other. That matchup was won by CU 90-84 in OT. After another Jays win in 2008 this time in Philadelphia, the series took a short break until 2010. The Jays and Hawks have played yearly since. Last time the two played at Hagan Arena Saint Joseph’s won 80-71. In last year’s meeting, CU routed SJU by a 80-51 score on December 1 of last year.
Media: For fans in Omaha, the game is available on KOZN 1620theZone radio, 1620theZone.com and the app available on both iPhone and Android market. John Bishop will be on the call with former Bluejay Nick Bahe providing color commentary. Starting at 4 p.m., 1620 will have Bluejay Shootout with Josh Peterson and Creighton alumnus Josh Dotzler. Following the contest will be Overtime hosted by Tim Krueger and Heath Gunderson, which will last at least an hour. The game will be on TV on Comcast Network, SportsNet New York and on Direct TV channel 639. Ed Cohen and John Griffin will handle to television broadcast. Campus insider’s website will also stream the game free of charge.
Probable Starters: For CU: 1 Austin Chatman (Jr.) 9 PPG, 7 APG, .400 3FG%, 1.000 FT%; 3 Doug McDermott (Sr.) 28.5 PPG, 6 RPG, .538 3FG%, .857 FT%; 10 Grant Gibbs 2 PPG, 2 RPG, 6 APG, .500 FT%; 12 Jahenns Manigat 9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, .444 3FG%, 1.000 FT%; 31 Will Artino 10.5 PPG, 5 RPG, 1 BPG, .333 FT%. For SJU: 10 Langston Galloway 20.5 PPG; 13 Ronald Roberts 18.5 PPG; 43 DeAndre Bembry10.0 PPG; 45 Halil Kanacevic 7.0 PPG; 24 Chris Wilson 6.5 PPG.
Previous Games: On Monday night Creighton defeated Kansas City 96-70 and were led by McDermott’s 37 points. Chatman scored 12, Zierden added 10, and 13 of the 14 Bluejays who saw action scored. Defensively, the Jays held the ‘Roos to 37.7% shooting in the game, out-rebounded the opposition 51-35 and got 34 bench points to just 20 for UMKC.
St. Joe’s defeated Marist 81-62 on Wednesday. Galloway led the Hawks, making 6 of 8 shots from the field and finished with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Ronald Roberts and Halil Kanacevic each recorded double-doubles. Phil Martelli’s squad outrebounded the visitors 47-26 in the lopsided win.
Coaches: Greg McDermott is in his fourth season, compiling a 82-30 record after the win earlier this week. Last season, he coached the team to a 28-8 record and the third round of the NCAA tournament. Saint Joseph’s Coach Martelli in his 19th season with the Hawks and owns a 330-237 record. He’s been named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year four times. In 2004, he earned National Coach of the Year honors after leading his team to a perfect regular season, which hadn’t be done since the 1990-91 season.
Scouting the Hawks: St. Joe’s, as mentioned, is 2-0 having defeated Vermont 74-64 and Marist. They return three starters and 10-of-14 letter winners from last season’s team. Creighton fans will want to keep an eye on the three returning starters: Galloway, Roberts and Kanacevic. Galloway leads the Hawks, averaging more than 20 points per game, while Roberts and Kanacevic do most of the heavy lifting on the glass. Roberts is averaging 9.5 boards with Kanacevic right behind him, bringing in nine rebounds per game in the limited sample size. As a team, Saint Joseph’s is shooting 47.8 percent from the field, 40.6 percent from three-point distance and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe. Martelli’s squad averages 77.5 points per game. Lastly, the Hawks were picked fifth in the A-10 behind VCU, Saint Louis, La Salle and Massachusetts. Galloway and Roberts made the preseason All-Atlantic 10 Second Team.