INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Butler used a 17-4 run to force overtime, then ended the extra session with an 8-0 burst to snap No. 8 Creighton’s six-game win streak, 70-66 in overtime, on Saturday.
The Bulldog rally ruined a 29-point effort from Creighton senior Denzel Mahoney, which included 23 after halftime that helped the Bluejays turn a 10-point deficit into a 13-point lead.
Butler (4-7, 3-5 BIG EAST) scored on its first three possessions and never trailed in the first half. Creighton (10-3, 6-2 BIG EAST) fought back to tie the score at 25-all on a lay-up from Christian Bishop before the Bulldogs scored the final seven points before the break to take a 32-25 lead into the locker room. The Bulldogs owned an 8-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, in addition to a 7-2 lead in bench points. Creighton’s 25 points were its lowest-scoring half of the season, and lowest-scoring first half since a 24-point showing before the break at Butler last January.
Butler opened the second half with a trey from Bryce Nze to cap a 10-0 run before hoops from Creighton ended the dry spell in a major way. The Bluejays answered as seniors Damien Jefferson and Mahoney combined for an 8-0 run with scores on four straight trips. Creighton tied the game on a three-ball by Mahoney, then took its first lead of the game on Mahoney’s fourth trey of the game to move ahead 39-36 with 15:49 remaining.
The Bluejay lead reached double-figures for the first time at 48-38 on a lay-up by Mitch Ballock, his first points of the afternoon. A three-point play from Mahoney ended the Bluejay burst with CU ahead 51-38 with 11:28 remaining and capped a 26-3 Bluejay run that featured 18 points from Mahoney.
Butler fought back, with a 17-2 run of its own to go ahead 62-60 on a lay-up by Aaron Thompson with 57.4 left. Mahoney was fouled with 36.6 left and made both to even the score. Butler then used its final timeout with 26.9 left and a six-second differential on shot clock. The Bulldogs had three cracks at it, but Nze, Myles Wilmoth and Myles Tate all came up empty as the game headed to overtime.
Creighton scored the first four points of overtime thanks to five straight defensive stops, but the hosts responded with the next eight points to go up 70-66 and ice the game on a free throw with 12.1 left by Chuck Harris..
Besides Mahoney’s 29 points, also in double-figures were Jefferson (12) and Bishop (10). Bishop added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Creighton made just 6-of-23 three-pointers and had 13 turnovers in the contest.
Aaron Thompson led BU with 17 points, while Tate finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Butler won the rebound battle 37-36 and had just seven turnovers for the game.
Creighton is scheduled to host a pair of home games next week, starting with an 8 p.m. tip vs. Providence on Wednesday that will air nationally on FS1.