When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati
CREIGHTON (12-11, 6-5)
F Audrey Faber, 6-2, Fr., 13.8
F Bailey Norby, 6-2, So., 4.3
G Jade Owens, 5-6, So., 6.2
G MC McGrory, 5-8, Jr., 11.4
G Sydney Lamberty, 5-10, So., 8.5
XAVIER (16-6, 7-4)
F Briana Glover, 6-1, Sr., 11.1
F M. Blackwell, 5-11, Jr., 6.0
G Aliyah Zantt, 5-6, Sr., 10.8
G Raeshaun Gaffney, 5-8, Jr., 12.0
G Jenna Crittendon, 5-9, Sr., 6.6
Scouting Creighton: Replicating the defensive performance that produced a 27-point victory over the Musketeers in Omaha last month appears to be vital for a Creighton team that finds itself in an offensive funk. The Bluejays have scored 53, 44 and 52 points in their last three games but managed to win two of them. Creighton has made 52 of its last 158 shots (32.9 percent). “I’m concerned about our offense,” coach Jim Flanery said after Friday’s win at Butler. In the first meeting with Xavier, the Bluejays limited to Musketeers to 47 points on 29.1 percent field-goal shooting. Creighton also finished with a 40-28 rebounding advantage. One encouraging offensive development from the Butler win was sophomore guard Sydney Lamberty’s solid performance. She’s struggled to make shots all season, but hit 4 of 5 3-point attempts and 6 of 10 overall in scoring 18 points against the Bulldogs. It was Lamberty’s best offensive showing since the second game of the season, when she put up 19 against Marist.
Scouting Xavier: Picked sixth in the league’s preseason poll, the Musketeers are approaching the stretch run in a three-way tie for second with Seton Hall and St. John’s. Xavier started conference play 5-1 — losing only to Creighton — before going on a three-game skid. The Musketeers bounced back with wins over Butler and Providence at the Cintas Center, where they are 14-2 this season and 26-8 over the past two seasons. Xavier is allowing opponents just 58.9 points per game and held five opponents, including its last two, to 50 points or fewer. The Musketeers finished off their win over Butler by holding the Bulldogs to one point in the final quarter, becoming one of nine teams this season to keep an opponent scoreless from the field in a period of play. The Musketeers rely on balanced scoring, with Raeshaun Gaffney, Briana Glover and Aliyah Zantt each averaging 10 points or more.
Opening tips: Creighton holds a 4-1 edge in the all-time series. The Musketeers’ lone win came last season on their home court. ... Despite standing 5-foot-6, Creighton guard Jade Owens has led in team in rebounding seven times this season. The sophomore point guard from River Forest, Illinois, is averaging a team-leading 5.8 rebounds in Big East play and 4.5 rebounds in all games.