The last time Creighton and BYU met, a high-scoring perimeter player led the Bluejays to victory. This time, the Cougars will have the star shooter when they come to Omaha.
Jimmer Fredette and No. 21 BYU look to end Creighton’s 26-game, regular-season home winning streak against non-conference opponents Wednesday night in the Mountain West Conference/Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.
BYU (6-0) has won five of eight meetings with Creighton (4-2) but fell 74-64 on the road Dec. 7, 2002, in the last one. Kyle Korver, familiar to fans in Utah from his days playing with the Jazz, led the Bluejays with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Creighton does not appear to have a player of that caliber this season. BYU certainly does in Fredette, who leads all Mountain West players with a 24.8 scoring average. The guard averaged 28.0 points in two wins over the weekend to lead the Cougars to the South Padre Invitational title.
The preseason All-American made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 10 seconds left Saturday in a 74-73 victory over Saint Mary’s in the championship. Fredette finished with 24 points.
“I like having the ball in my hands at the end of the game,” said Fredette, the tournament MVP.
The Cougars won 77-75 in double overtime over South Florida the day before on Noah Hartsock’s winner at the buzzer. BYU shot a season-low 32.1 percent in that contest before bouncing back for a season-high 53.8 percent effort in the title game.
“I was really thrilled for how the guys competed together as a group,” coach Dave Rose said. “The biggest thing we gained from this weekend is how to win together as a group. Finding the pieces of how this thing is going to come together is a big benefit of this weekend.”
BYU should be challenged again at the Qwest Center, where Creighton has not lost in the regular season to a non-MVC foe since a 64-58 defeat to Drexel on Feb. 17, 2007.
The Bluejays are facing a second straight unbeaten team after falling 65-52 at Northwestern on Sunday. Antoine Young scored a team-high 18 points and became the first Creighton player to log all 40 minutes in 10 seasons.
“We played well enough offensively the first half to win the game and we played well enough defensively the second half to win the game, but we weren’t able to sustain it for 40 minutes,” coach Greg McDermott said.
Doug McDermott is a freshman forward averaging 14.3 points to match Young for the team lead. He’s been named MVC newcomer of the week three straight times.
Creighton has won 39 of its last 40 home games following a loss and is 23-0 all-time at the Qwest Center on Wednesdays.
This is the Cougars’ first true road game. They went 10-4 on the road in 2009-10.