Saturday , Dec , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Xavier tries to continue fast start at Creighton

Omaha, NE (Sports Network) – Off to their best start in a decade, the
24th-ranked Xavier Musketeers are set to play their first true road game
of the season as they tangle with the Creighton Bluejays in non-conference
action from Omaha.

At 7-1 on the year, the Musketeers are off to their best start since
winning 10 straight to open the 1996-97 campaign. Most recently, Xavier
completed a perfect four-game homestand with an 88-55 triumph over Detroit on
Tuesday. The Musketeers, who participated in the Paradise Jam on a neutral
court, now head away from home for their first true road game of the season.

As for Creighton, it enters the tilt on a down note, losing to Dayton, 60-54,
on Wednesday. The loss snapped the team’s modest two-game win streak and
dropped it to 3-2 overall. The Bluejays, however, now return home where they
have gone a perfect 3-0 thus far.

With regard to the all-time series, Xavier owns a 7-5 edge over Creighton,
although the Bluejays have won the past two meetings, including a 61-59
triumph last season.

The Musketeers have been successful at both ends of the court this season, as
they are netting 76.6 ppg on 49 percent shooting from the field, while holding
their opponents to a mere 59.9 ppg and just 40.9 percent shooting overall. Josh
Duncan currently leads the team in scoring at 13.6 ppg and he is also pulling
down 5.0 rpg. Stanley Burrell is next in line with 11.8 ppg, while Justin
Doellman adds 10.1 ppg and a team-high 7.1 rpg. In the club’s last game, Duncan
poured in a career-high 25 points and grabbed five caroms in leading Xavier to
an easy win over Detroit. Doellman chipped in with 10 points for the
Musketeers, who shot a blistering 59.3 percent from the floor, including an 11-
of-23 effort from long distance.

Much like Xavier, Creighton has had a good deal of success in slowing down its
opponents, allowing just 54.0 ppg. Offensively, the Bluejays are turning in
65.0 ppg behind the duo of Nate Funk and Anthony Tolliver. Funk is the team’s
top scorer at 14.0 ppg, while Tolliver adds 13.0 ppg and a club-best 8.0 rpg.
Funk posted 15 points and Tolliver notched a double-double with 13 points and
13 rebounds, but Creighton simply couldn’t overcome its poor 37.0 percent
shooting effort from the field in a loss to Dayton. The team also struggled
from long range (5-of-19), although it did manage to keep the game close by
winning the battle on the boards, 37-26.