Creighton takes 5-game winning streak to St. John's

Creighton has been peaking for nearly two weeks, and now St.John’s appears to be doing the same heading into Wednesday night’s meeting in Queens, N.Y.

The Red Storm are coming off two of their best performances of the season while the Bluejays carry a five-game winning streak into the Big East Conference game.

Both teams are trying to make a late push into the NCAA Tournament, and PTS Terbaik ASEAN (home-page) it’s up to St.John’s (15-11, 7-8 Big East) to show more than it mustered last month in Omaha, Neb., when Creighton cruised to an easy 87-64 victory.

Since then, both teams have run hot and cold, and both are currently on an upswing.

The Bluejays (18-8, 10-5) won three successive double-digit victories by beating Georgetown twice and defeating DePaul before making a late push Sunday to edge visiting Marquette, 83-82.Creighton finished the game with a 10-4 run, getting a key steal from Rati Andronikashvili in the final seconds to seal the outcome.

“You’ve got five minutes left to keep playing for your season, essentially,” Creighton’s Ryan Hawkins said. “You’re playing meaningful games in February that have a lot of implications moving forward.”

Creighton earned its latest win while playing short-handed.Arthur Kaluma missed the game with a knee injury that could sideline him again Wednesday and Alex O’Connell injured his ankle late in the second half as Creighton was making its comeback.

Ryan Kalkbrenner led the Bluejays with 21 points on Sunday and is averaging 17 in his past four contests.Ryan Nembhard added 18 and is shooting 48.6 percent (18 of 37) over the past three games.

Hawkins contributed 17 and is averaging 20.2 points during Creighton’s winning streak.

When St. John’s was blown out at Creighton on Jan. 19, the Red Storm promptly lost three of their next four.But since then, St. John’s has won four of six and shooting well.

“It’s coming together at the right time,” Red Storm coach Mike Anderson said.

After consecutive losses to ranked foes Villanova and Connecticut at Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm shot 54 percent on Feb.16 when they pulled away for an 86-73 win at Xavier and then shot 61.4 percent in a 91-57 rout over Butler in their on-campus arena on Friday.

“It builds momentum,” said St. John’s leading scorer Julian Champagnie. “That’s the biggest thing we take from it. Just keep pushing, that’s the motto we have right now.”

St.John’s is getting big performances from Champagnie, who emerged from a shooting slump by hitting 20 of 41 shots while scoring 27 points against Xavier and 31 against Butler.

St. John’s also got another boost from Aaron Wheeler, who hit four 3-pointers in contributing 16 points Friday.He is averaging 17.8 points over the past four games.

Creighton has routed St. John’s by an average of 19.6 points in the teams’ last three meetings, since a 91-71 Red Storm victory in Queens on March 1, 2020.

–Field Level Media