Lincoln, NE – The in-state rivalry between Creighton and Nebraska was a tight, back-and-forth matchup for most of the contest, but Creighton pulled away in the closing minutes on Sunday to win for the second consecutive season in a 65-55 victory.
Senior Austin Chatman led the way for the Bluejays with 19 points, seven rebounds, and six assists (all team-highs). He’s a quick, slippery 6-foot point guard with an explosive crossover. Chatman is a smaller prospect, but uses his quickness to attack off the dribble or pull-up from mid-range. He was 7-of-11 from the field on Sunday and 2-of-4 from three-point range.
As the only returning starter from last year’s team, Chatman showed poise on the road and settled down the offense whenever Nebraska made a run. He made plenty of key shots down the stretch and has now scored in double-figures in the past four games. Chatman will be vital for Creighton throughout the season.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Zierden was the only other Bluejay in double-figures with 13 points off the bench. He was a threat from three-point range as he connected on 3-of-6 attempts from deep.
In terms of NBA potential, Nebraska’s Terran Petteway was the highest profile prospect on the floor. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-20 shooting and was the only Cornhusker in double-figures. He can shoot it well, but settled for deep jumpers on too many occasions. Petteway was 4-of-11 from behind the arc.
The junior has the size, athleticism, and scoring ability for the NBA and should be a candidate for the second round if he declares at the end of the season. He averaged 18.1 points per game as a sophomore and has upped that total to 21.0 points in seven games this season. Petteway can score at a high level and is the primary option for the Cornhuskers, but he can improve on his efficiency, as he’s 48-of-116 (41.4%) from the field and 19-of-54 (35.2%) from deep this year.
Petteway can handle the ball and create his own offense either with the pick-and-roll or off the bounce. He’s a good athlete that had a powerful dunk while cutting to the basket against Creighton. Petteway could be instant offense off an NBA bench, but he’ll need to play more controlled in a smaller role. He can also improve while attacking the basket and absorbing contact. Defensively, Petteway’s a reliable defender with a lengthy wingspan that can get into passing lanes. He occasionally spent time defending the point guard position to disrupt the offensive flow. As one of the top scorers in college basketball that also defends at a high level, Petteway will certainly get a chance at an NBA opportunity.
Creighton, one of the many surprise teams in the Big East, improved to 7-2 and added another quality win to its resume after defeating Oklahoma earlier this year. The Bluejays have a chance to surpass preseason expectations in the conference. Nebraska dropped to 5-2 and suffered its first home loss of the year. The Cornhuskers still have Cincinnati on the schedule as another key test before starting Big Ten play.
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