INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Creighton had its eight-game winning streak snapped on Saturday at No. 11 Butler, shooting just 4-for-22 from three-point range in a 71-57 loss at sold out Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler improved to 14-1 on the season (2-0 BIG EAST), and is now 9-0 at home this winter. Creighton dropped to 12-3 (1-1 BIG EAST) with the setback.
Butler found success early thanks to reserve Derrik Smits, who scored three straight baskets and assisted on a fourth to help the host Bulldogs to an early 16-9 advantage. A three-point play by Marcus Zegarowski temporarily stopped the run before three-balls from Butler by Jordan Tucker and Sean McDermott pushed the Bulldog lead into double-figures at 22-12. CU showed promise with a 7-0 run to draw within 24-19 prior to the final media timeout of the first half, only to see Butler rattle off a 10-2 run prior to Mitch Ballock’s trey to beat the halftime buzzer. Butler led 34-24 at the break thanks to a 14-0 lead in bench points, a 21-15 edge on the glass.
Zegarowski had half of CU’s 24 points before the break, while Sean McDermott had 12 points and six rebounds to pace BU. Preseason All-BIG EAST guard Kamar Baldwin, who entered the game leading Butler with 14.3 points per game, shot 0-for-9 and did not score before the break.
Creighton was able to push the tempo early in the second half, scoring 22 points in the first nine minutes to draw within 50-46 with 9:18 remaining. CU would miss a lay-up on its next trip and Baldwin beat the shot clock with a long three-pointer to give BU the 53-46 advantage. Creighton got no closer than four the rest of the way.
Butler was paced by a double-double from McDermott, who scored 18 points and contributed 11 rebounds. Baldwin scored all 20 of his points after half but was hounded into a 7-for-22 shooting effort.
Creighton returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 7, when it hosts No. 10 Villanova in a game scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip.