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Creighton-Providence Preview

AP - Sports

Creighton hasn't looked back since its two losses, reeling off 10 straight victories in impressive fashion.

The 20th-ranked Bluejays can notch an 11-game win streak for the third time in as many seasons Saturday night with a victory at Providence.

After losing back-to-back games to San Diego State and George Washington, Creighton (15-2, 5-0 Big East) has won 10 in a row by an average of 19.9 points. The only victory in that span by fewer than 13 points was a 95-89 home win over Xavier last Sunday, but even then the Bluejays shot 54.5 percent from the field and 14 of 28 from 3-point range.

Doug McDermott remains at the crux of Creighton's success, ranking second in the country with 25.2 points per game. He scored 24 of his 28 points in the first half of Tuesday's 88-60 home victory over Butler.

"I got the ball in some spots where I like it," said McDermott, who was 11 of 19 from the floor and is 17 of 35 from beyond the arc in his last six. "The guys did a great job recognizing that."

Austin Chatman provided his third straight performance with at least 10 points after doing so four times in his previous 14 games. He's 6 for 8 on 3-pointers in his last three contests.

Creighton's high-powered offense, averaging 82.6 points, scored on 14 straight possessions at one point and ended the first half on a 32-6 run. The Bluejays also limited Butler to 31.8 percent shooting for the game.

"The first half was as good as we can play," coach Greg McDermott said. "Our offensive efficiency and ball movement, our guys' willingness to move the ball and play for their teammates. I'm equally proud of our defense. I didn't see this coming. We were exceptional tonight."

Providence (12-5, 2-2) dropped its first two conference games but bounced back last week to rout Georgetown before an 84-83 double-overtime win at St. John's on Thursday. The Friars dropped back-to-back overtime contests at the end of December against UMass and Seton Hall.

Bryce Cotton tallied 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and he tied up a St. John's player with 21 seconds left before scoring the winning basket on the ensuing possession.

"He made senior plays," coach Ed Cooley said. "Seniors make urgent plays."

Cotton played all 50 minutes as the Friars used primarily a six-man rotation for the second straight game. They're short-handed with point guard Kris Dunn having undergone shoulder surgery last month and freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock suspended for the season.

Providence has lost 10 of 12 against ranked foes, though it defeated the last two to visit its home floor. The Friars own a 6-4 series edge but lost 63-51 in the last meeting Nov. 25, 2000.

Creighton is 4-0 in true road games, but McDermott struggled in the last one as he shot 6 of 16 with 19 points in a Jan. 7 victory at DePaul.

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