The piece de resistance of a non-conference gauntlet is on deck for Jim Flanery’s Creighton Bluejays.
The Cardinal are off to an 11-1 begin to the season. They received a nationwide championship in 2021, went to the Last 4 in 2022, and are closely favored to be one of many final groups standing on the ultimate weekend of the NCAA Match for a 3rd consecutive season. Their place in faculty basketball’s pecking order is earned and unquestioned.
All Creighton needs for Christmas is to get some respect of their very own and to show that final 12 months’s run to the Elite Eight wasn’t a flash in a pan from a plucky underdog that received sizzling on the proper time. Proving that wasn’t a fluke has been a significant motivating issue for the 9 returning gamers ever seen the clock hit 0.0 towards eventual nationwide champion South Carolina. It’s the explanation they received proper again within the health club once they returned to Omaha. It’s the explanation they organized their very own exercise at The Ruth as an alternative of going house this summer season. It’s the explanation they received photographs up at nighttime as an alternative of turning round and going again to the dorm when nobody was round to activate the lights.
To a big diploma, that mission has already been achieved. They went to Frost Area on opening evening and received comparatively comfortably towards a South Dakota State workforce that has since crushed No. 10 Louisville and No. 24 Kansas State. They throttled in-state rival Nebraska three weeks earlier than the Huskers ran No. 20 Maryland out of their very own health club. They tore up a Northern Iowa workforce that No. 13 Iowa and No. 14 Iowa State struggled to place away. They went out east and spoiled No. 25 Villanova’s home-opener by holding reigning Massive East Participant of the 12 months Maddy Siegrist to 25 factors on 26 capturing possessions in a 21-point win. They sport an 8-2 general document. Six of these wins got here away from D.J. Sokol Area. The 2 setbacks — each by single digits — had been to No. 17 Arkansas and No. 25 St. John’s, who’re a mixed 24-0 on the season. This Creighton workforce is a battle-tested group. Additionally they know that it’ll be laborious to seek out many individuals outdoors their locker room who consider they’ll win on Tuesday.
Additionally they don’t care.
“It’s similar to final 12 months, proper,” third-year ahead Morgan Maly stated. “What’s the distinction?”
Since 2018, Stanford is 66-5 at Maples Pavilion. 4 of these losses had been to Oregon (twice), UCLA, and Texas groups that every one completed the season ranked within the High 10 within the ultimate Coaches’ Ballot the 12 months they upended the Cardinal in their very own health club. The fifth got here on November twentieth this season when reigning nationwide champion and top-ranked South Carolina beat them by 5 in extra time. Solely one of the best of one of the best win in that constructing, particularly when Stanford is as loaded with expertise and expertise as they’re this season. Even UConn — the best program within the historical past of the game — has solely been profitable one time in 5 video games on the market all-time.
However Jim Flanery didn’t comply with play the sport simply so the Cardinal may pad their document earlier than the vacation break. He scheduled it, partially, due to how a lot perception he has in his workforce.
“One in all our objectives is to get to the NCAA Match, however that’s not the baseline objective,” Flanery stated. “We’re going to play a workforce on Tuesday that expects to be within the Last 4. That’s nice for us as a result of we’re going to have the ability to measure the place we’re in comparison with a workforce that expects to be within the Last 4, and doubtless has a greater than 50% probability, perhaps even higher than 70% probability to get there.
“I believe it’s an excellent alternative and once I scheduled the sport it was partly a message to the workforce that I believe you guys are ok to go on the market and compete and provides yourselves an opportunity. I might hope that they’re tremendous excited concerning the alternative.”
Her Hoop Stats Story of the Tape
Projected Rating: Stanford 77, Creighton 59
Offensive Score: Stanford – 118.8 (1st), Creighton – 108.6 (nineteenth)
Defensive Score: Stanford – 70.6 (2nd), Creighton – 81.1 (forty second)
Factors Per Possession: Stanford – 1.00 (seventh), Creighton – 0.92 (thirty first)
Assisted Shot Fee: Creighton – 58.8% (97th), Stanford – 58.1% (109th)
Turnovers Per Recreation: Creighton – 12.3 (twelfth), Stanford – 12.8 (sixteenth)
2-Level FG%: Stanford – 55.4% (tenth), Creighton – 49.5% (73rd)
3-Level FG%: Stanford – 38.2% (sixteenth), Creighton – 35.4% (forty eighth)
Free Throw Share: Creighton – 77.6% (twenty seventh), Stanford – 73.3% (ninetieth)
NET: Stanford – 3, Creighton – 20
KPI: Creighton – 8, Stanford – 16
HHS: Stanford – 2, Creighton – 24
RPI: Creighton – 7, Stanford – 20
Projected Beginning Lineups
Stanford (11-1, 0-0 Pac-12):
10 Telana Lepolo (Fr., 5-7, 4.1 factors, 5.3 assists, 53.6% 2FG, 30.8% 3FG, 87.5% FT)
33 Hannah Soar (Sr. 6-0, 12.9 factors, 3.3 3FG/sport, 63.6% 2FG, 51.3% 3FG, 100.0% FT)
30 Haley Jones (Sr., 6-1, 11.8 factors, 7.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 50.0% 2FG, 13.3% 3FG, 78.1% FT)
44 Kiki Iriafen (So., 6-3, 10.3 factors, 5.3 rebounds, 58.6% 2FG, 65.6% FT)
22 Cameron Brink (Jr., 6-4, 13.1 factors, 8.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 66.2% 2FG, 35.0% 3FG, 74.2% FT)
Creighton (8-2, 2-1 Massive East):
21 Molly Mogensen (Jr., 5-7, 9.8 factors, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 40.8% 2FG, 44.1% 3FG, 81.3% FT)
15 Lauren Jensen (Jr., 5-10, 16.8 factors, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 52.7% 2FG, 31.7% 3FG, 71.4% FT)
13 Rachael Saunders (Sr., 5-9, 6.3 factors, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals, 66.7% 2FG, 100.0% 3FG, 87.5% FT)
30 Morgan Maly (Jr., 6-1, 17.7 factors, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 61.6% 2FG, 32.8% 3FG, 90.0% FT)
31 Emma Ronsiek (Jr., 6-1, 12.2 factors, 4.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 40.3% 2FG, 35.9% 3FG, 81.3% FT)