Wednesday, December 10, 7PM
Qwest Center Omaha
As the message boards of the two schools still argue about the officiating of a game from back in 2005, here is what you need to know about Dayton:
- They are undefeated at 8-0 with wins over Marquette and Auburn from the Major Conferences
- Dayton’s first actual road game was last Saturday against Akron where they survived the “horrible officiating.”
- The Flyer’s Chris Wright is considered one of the top 10 Sophomores to break out in 2008. He is showing that is possible leading Dayton in scoring and rebounds per game.
- The moving of the three-point line has affected this team as they are only shooting 29% from the arc including an 0-24 performance against Auburn.
- Their defense makes up for their 3-point deficiency by creating 18 turnovers per contest.
- Dayton also has generated news in a more negative light as they received F’s for their minority hiring efforts.
- Sports broadcaster Dan Patrick proudly shouts the Dayton name as a famous alumni along with former Spelling Bee Pronouncer, Alexander Cameron
The thing that everyone seems to remember on Dayton’s last visit to Omaha was that Nate Funk went to the free-throw line more than the whole Dayton team and almost single handedly brought home the win for the Jays. Who knew that after that inspiring game that Funk would get injured at Depaul and be out for the season. But what people forgot was the fact that the crowd in the Qwest Center probably got as loud as it ever has to help the Jays erase a 11 point deficit and watch a thrilling double-overtime game that could have went either way. A memory etched in my mind. The crowd again needs to rise up for this one.
Creighton is 14-0 on Wednesdays since moving to the Qwest Center. The Bluejays are coming off of a win at the Palestra last Saturday against St. Joseph and the leadership of Booker Woodfox and the key shots hit in that game gives this team the confidence coming into this game.
The play of Caseb Korriman has steadily made an impact for this team. With Casey Harriman playing tough and getting rebounds and steals and Kaleb Korver hitting key shots, this duo is really starting to come on as of late and be productive. I like the way Kenny Lawson and Kenton Walker are developing. It seems as though things are really coming together.
No doubt about this, P’Allen Stinnett will be the difference in this game. These “Big Games” are what big time players get pumped for. If there is not energy with P and this group, then there is something wrong.
Turnovers will be the key in this game. We learned from a few years ago against Dayton that you can be outrebounded a home and still win the game. The key in that game was turnovers. Dayton had 27 of them. This will be the key stat again.
With the poor performance of the Jays non-conference opponents and the tough losses at Arkansas-Little Rock and Nebraska that needed to be wins, this game has a big bullseye by it as a must win. You hate to say that 8 games into the season, but since Creighton does not play the Carolina’s or the Dukes or other major conference teams on a regular basis to have the chance for some “big wins”, every game becomes more important. If Creighton is to be considered for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament down the line, this is a game is a must win. There are few chances to slip up now. So for the home games for the rest of the season, the crowd needs to be there and they need to be cheering. Pack the Qwest.
Oh, and if you are going to the game, get there early. There is so much construction going on around the Qwest Center and the streets getting to the Qwest Center, you need to allow yourself extra time. Please read this before going.
Really both teams look pretty even. Both are deep and both can score. Dayton may have a little edge in rebounding, but the energy from the crowd causing turnovers will be the intangible difference in this game.
Prediction: Creighton 80, Dayton 75