Creighton opens up Missouri Valley Conference play tonight hosting preseason favorite Northern Iowa. The Bluejays are 5-6, first time since 96-97 that they enter conference play with a record under .500. Creighton is 0-6 on the road, 5-0 at Qwest Center. Three of CU’s losses came against Top 25 teams at the time. The Panthers are 9-1.
All five starters return from last year’s team that finished 23-11, a group led by preseason all-Valley picks Adam Koch (13.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg.) and Kwadzo Ahelegbe (13.8 ppg., 3.6 rpg). Ali Farokhmanesh averages 10.4 points per game and tops the team with 24 three-pointers, while 7-footer Jordan Eglseder averages 12.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
UNI’s only loss was to DePaul, but the Panthers have beaten teams from the Big 10 (Iowa), Big 12 (Iowa State), and ACC (Boston College). The Panthers average 67.8 points per game and shoot 45.4% from the floor, 40.3% from three point range and 65.5% at the line. UNI allows just 57.7 points per game and opponents shoot just 42.6% from the floor.