UE News and Notes for Feb. 15, 2013

—Creighton opened a six-point favorite (the line moved quickly to -5.5) for Saturday’s 2 p.m. game against UE at the Ford Center. The Bluejays won the teams’ previous meeting, a Dec. 29 game in Omaha, by an 87-70 score. Click to make your prediction for the second go-around.

—I answered a few questions for the folks over at the White & Blue Review, a website covering Creighton athletics, ahead of Saturday’s game. Check out my assessment of the Aces here.

—Somehow, the Creighton squad that beat UE by 17 points and looked unstoppable in non-conference play — save for a game against Boise State in which the Broncos shot 60 percent — has dropped three straight. Beat writer Steve Pivovar wrote this week on the Bluejays’ inability to finish games, while Omaha World-Herald columnist Dirk Chatelain wants to see the ball in star junior Doug McDermott’s hands more often.

—Creighton has plenty left to play for, as the NCAA’s mock selection committee on Friday tabbed the Bluejays the 44th-best team available as of now — still in the field. The committee also placed former UE coach Jim Crews’ Saint Louis squad 37th.

—UE opened its baseball season with a 2-1 win Friday at Arkansas-Little Rock, avoiding a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. Sophomore Kyle Pollock accounted for both Aces runs on a first-inning single, and sophomore Kyle Freeland got the win on the mound after giving up just five hits and striking out eight in seven innings. The series concludes with 1 p.m. games Saturday and Sunday.

—UE’s softball team didn’t fare as well in its season-opener, dropping a 5-0 decision to Virginia Tech in game one of the Troy Invitational in Alabama. Sophomore Kayla Fortner and junior Kacey Rogers notched the only Aces hits in a game where they never threatened. UE finishes the tournament with games Saturday and Sunday.

—In the second half of a UE basketball doubleheader on Saturday, the Aces host Illinois State in their annual “Hoops for a Cause” game. Silent and Chinese auctions, along with a portion of ticket sales, will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. General admission is $5.

—UE’s women’s swimming and diving team finished day one of the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in fourth place.

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