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3:00 PM PT4:00 PM MT5:00 PM CT6:00 PM ET11:00 PM GMT7:00 PM 北京时间4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST, Dec 8, 2018
Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska  Attendance: 15,950

Creighton looks to continue recent dominance over Nebraska

(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

No. 24 Nebraska will look to even up the all-time series with intrastate rival Creighton at 26 wins apiece when the teams meet Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

The only problem is that the Bluejays have had the Cornhuskers' number the last several years, winning each of the last seven meetings by a double-digit margin.

Nebraska (7-2) is also coming off an 85-78 loss to Big Ten foe Minnesota in a game in which the Cornhuskers led by as many as 13 points in the second half.

The Cornhuskers looked good throughout the game offensively, but could not get stops on the defensive end when it mattered most. Minnesota's Amir Coffey was able to torch Nebraska's defense for a career-high 32 points and made several big buckets down the stretch to help the Gophers come from behind.

Coach Tim Miles acknowledged the poor execution as Coffey willed the Gophers back into the game.

"We did not play good basketball down the stretch," he said after the game, referencing a 9-0 Minnesota run to put the Gophers up for good, 77-73, late in the second half.

This was the first time in 35 games Nebraska has let an opponent shoot better than 50 percent from the field. The Gophers shot 51.8 percent overall and a sweltering 57.1 percent (16 of 28) in the second half.

On the offensive end, Nebraska's experienced frontcourt of junior Isaiah Roby and senior Isaac Copeland Jr. had strong showings. Copeland led the team with 17 points and seven boards while Roby had his best game of the season with 15 points to go along with four rebounds and three blocks.

Roby had two ferocious first-half dunks to swing momentum toward the Huskers.

"He was much more aggressive," Miles said. "I thought he did a lot of good things."

Senior guard Glynn Watson Jr. had 14 points and four assists while leading scorer James Palmer Jr. struggled through a lackluster shooting night (3 of 14) thanks to Coffey's tough defense. He ended the game with 11 points to go along with four assists.

Nebraska's poor defense could not have come at a worse time as a well-rested Creighton team that is averaging 85 points per game comes to Lincoln.

The Bluejays (6-2) are led by Sophomore spark plug Ty-Shon Alexander, who averages 19.4 points and 3.1 assists per game. Alexander scored 36 points in a marquee win over the then-16th-ranked Clemson and hung 27 on top-ranked Gonzaga in last Saturday's 103-92 loss.

The Bluejays had the Bulldogs on the ropes well into the second half, giving up the lead for good with 11 minutes left. Creighton was able to hang around thanks to Alexander and a strong shooting game from beyond the arc (14 of 34 for 41.2 percent).

Sophomore forward Damien Jefferson and junior forward Martin Krampelj each had solid games against Gonzaga, scoring 15 and 10 points, respectively. Jefferson also added a team-leading nine rebounds.

Similar to Nebraska's problems against Minnesota, Creighton could not stop Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr., who hit six 3-pointers en route to 28 points. Creighton coach Greg McDermott referenced Norvell's explosion after the game.

"He changed the game. It changes everything with how you defend inside -- because he can shoot it 6 feet behind the line," McDermott said.

Creighton will have to tighten up its defense against the Cornhuskers, but with both teams struggling to get stops as of late, this could turn into a shootout. Nebraska will hope to get Palmer back on the right track as he and Watson will have to keep pace with Creighton's Alexander.

In this year's 52nd installment of the rivalry, both a marquee bounce-back win and bragging rights for a whole year are at stake.

Updated December 8, 2018

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