INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An 11-0 run to start the second half wasn’t enough to erase a 19-point halftime deficit as the Creighton men’s basketball team dropped an 84-69 contest to Butler at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Both teams are now 10-5 overall and 1-1 in BIG EAST play.
Butler broke loose with a 9-0 run as Nate Fowler hit two three-pointers and Jordan Tucker another trey to make it 17-7 and force an early Bluejay timeout. Butler held the Bluejays scoreless for nearly five minutes in that stretch. The host Bulldogs would score on 21 of 35 first half possessions en route to a 48-29 halftime lead, CU’s largest deficit at the break all season. Kamar Baldwin paced the Bulldogs with 18 points at the break, while CU was paced by 13 by Martin Krampelj. Creighton had 10 turnovers in the first half, which Butler converted into 20 points.
Creighton scored the first 11 points of the second half, getting seven points from Mitch Ballockand scores by Damien Jefferson and Davion Mintz while showing renewed vigor on both ends of the floor to get within 48-40. Butler answered quickly, as Joey Brunk hit a 16-footer just before the shot clock and Paul Jorgensen buried a corner trey as the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 9-0 run of their own.
The Jays never got within 12 again.
Krampelj led Creighton with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Ballock (13) and Mintz (10) also cracked double-digits. Marcus Zegarowski contributed five assists, one shy of his season-best. The Bluejays made 7-of-27 three-pointers on the afternoon, tying a season-low for long-range makes.
Baldwin led Butler with season-highs of 28 points and seven assists, while Fowler’s 11-point day included his first three three-pointers of the season after an 0-for-9 start. Also in double-figures with 13 points was Joey Brunk.
Creighton returns to the court on Wednesday when it hosts No. 16 Marquette in a 6 p.m. game at CHI Health Center Omaha.