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Monday, April 19, 2021

Rivalry Preview: Creighton vs. Western New York Billikens

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The Western New York Billikens have alternated wins and losses with Creighton all season. Despite that, the Musketeers are the heavy favorites when the two close out their regular season on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. But the Billikens have looked as good as their Big East Conference peers, winning six out of eight games by double digits. A rivalry is certainly in store on Saturday. Here’s a preview:

Creighton

The Musketeers’ only loss on the season was a 42-point hammering at the hands of Gonzaga, but Creighton still won. Their resurgence is impressive, given that their top two scorers and leading rebounder — Marcus Foster and Justin Patton — were injured this season and are at least a week or two away from returning. The Musketeers are an interesting team this year, combining a high offensive and defensive efficiency with a top-ten rebounding percentage — 16th among all teams — and a below-average turnover margin.

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The Musketeers rank second in the country in scoring average at 87.9 points per game. Markus Howard leads the nation in steals with 4.2 per game, and his assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the country at 7.1.

The Musketeers are one of two teams in the country averaging more than 92 points per game, and average 87.8 points per game themselves. Creighton has generated 29.3 percent of its points off of turnovers (11th in the country).

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