OMAHA, Neb. — Marcus Zegarowski was a perfect 7-for-7 from three-point range and Christian Bishop had career-highs in points (19), assists (5), blocks (4) and steals (3) as No. 15 Creighton capped off one of its best months in program history with an 81-59 win over No. 21 Butler on Sunday, Feb. 23.
Creighton (22-6, 11-4 BIG EAST) scored the game’s first five points and never trailed, avenging a 71-57 loss in Indianapolis on January 4 at Butler (19-9, 7-8 BIG EAST).
Zegarowski had 17 points in the first half, making his first five tries from three-point range, as Creighton owned a 40-21 lead at intermission. CU led 23-19 before closing the first half on a 17-2 run in the final 6:15 of the half. The flurry started as a 14-0 run that featured three triples from Zegarowski, a trey from Mitch Ballock and a tip-dunk by Bishop. After two free throws by Aaron Thompson ended the CU run, Ty-Shon Alexander closed the first half with a three-pointer that gave CU its largest halftime margin in any BIG EAST game since Jan. 11, 2017, when Creighton led No. 12 Butler 47-27.
Any chance of a Butler comeback was quickly put to bed in the second half, as back-to-back dunks by Bishop were part of a 9-1 run that quickly ballooned the lead to 49-24 with just under 16 minutes remaining. The lead would grow as large as 35 (70-35) with 9:59 to go after Bishop’s fifth dunk of the game, his team-best 37th slam of the season.
Creighton still led 75-43 with 4:02 left at the final media timeout before surrendering a 16-6 run in the final minutes.
Zegarowski led all players with 25 points, making 9-of-12 shots overall, despite not playing in the final 11:48. Zegarowski also became the fourthth player in BIG EAST history to shoot 100% from 3-point range in a league game with 7+ attempts, and first since Butler’s Kellen Dunham vs. Seton Hall on March 8, 2014.
The Bluejays made a season-high 15 three-point baskets while connecting at a 57.7 percent clip from downtown. Also in double-figures was Alexander, who had 15 points and became the fourth player in program history to surpass 200 career three-pointers during his junior season.
Butler was paced by a season-high 13 points by Henry Baddley, who also added a career-best four steals. All-BIG EAST guard Kamar Baldwin scored seven points in 15 first half minutes but did not play after the break. The Bulldogs shot 37.9 percent for the game, including a 6-for-20 mark from downtown, and hit 9-of-14 free throws. Butler did win the rebound battle, 35-31, including 14 offensive boards.
Creighton returns to action on Sunday, March 1, when it plays at St. John’s in an 11 a.m. Central game that will be nationally televised by FS1.