INDIANAPOLIS -- Creighton coach Greg McDermott figured it was only a matter of time before his team starting hitting 3-pointers. "We're struggled shooting after leading the country in 3-point shooting (44.5 percent) during the nonconference season," said McDermott, whose team shot just 30 percent from 3-point range in first nine Big East games. "To our shooters' credit, they haven't deviated from their belief in themselves. The last thing the players need is to think their coach doubts them. Not one time have we doubted our guys." No. 22 Creighton sank 13 of 21 3-point attempts Tuesday en route to a 76-67 Big East victory over No. 16 Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. "It goes without saying this is a huge win for us given the events of the last couple of weeks for us," McDermott said. Justin Patton, Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas each had 15 points to share top scoring honors for Creighton's (20-3, 7-3 Big East). Patton, a freshman center, hit 7 of 10 shots. Thomas was 4 of 5 on 3-point tries. After losing starting point guard Marcus Watson Jr. to season-ending knee injury on Jan. 16, the Bluejays lost two straight games before beating DePaul on Saturday. "We're still trying to find ourselves in some regards," McDermott said. "I have great respect for Butler for the way they do things. This is huge shot in the arm for our guys who have been through a lot the last two weeks." The Bluejays shot 55.8 percent overall. "Our two point guards did a good job, and our bench allowed us to survive Justin's foul trouble in the first half," McDermott said. Kamar Baldwin was the high scorer for Butler (18-5, 7-4) with 14 points. Bulldogs forward Andrew Chrabascz was held to six points on 3-of-13 shooting. "We know Andrew is a big part of what they do, and we tried to disrupt that as much as we can," McDermott said. "They made shots early, and I was concerned about that. We wanted to get our bigs involved." Butler shot 40.9 percent from the field, 25.9 percent from 3-point range (7 of 27). "Creighton was clearly the better team (Tuesday night)," Butler coach Chris Holtmann said. "We did not play well." The Bulldogs have lost two consecutive home games after winning the first 11 this season. Georgetown shot 64 percent in an 85-81 win over Butler on Saturday night. "We've been atrocious," Holtmann said of the defense the past two games. "We can't guard inside the line. We can't guard outside the line. We can't keep teams off the glass. We can't keep them off the free-throw line. We can't defend the ball in transition. We can't keep the ball in front." The Bluejays, who won the first meeting with Butler 75-64 on Jan. 11, hit 8 of 12 3-point attempts in the first half to take a 37-33 halftime lead. Butler scored the first five points of the second half to take a 38-37 lead. Creighton answered with a 9-0 run to take a 46-38 edge. The Bluejays eventually built the lead to 54-42 before the Bulldogs responded with a 7-0 run. However, the momentum was short-lived as the Bluejays grabbed control for good. In the opening half, the Bulldogs led 24-17 before going cold from the field. The Bulldogs missed nine shots in a row and went more than five minutes without scoring. During that stretch, Creighton had a 12-0 run to take a 29-24 lead. Butler's Kethan Savage hit two free throws to break the scoreless streak to cut the deficit to 29-26. Butler eventually took a 33-32 lead on Nate Fowler's 3-pointer. Creighton regained the lead by scoring the final five points before intermission. NOTES: Butler was third in the NCAA in fewest turnovers (9.8) entering the game. The Bulldogs committed 13 on Tuesday. ... Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster, a junior guard, is the highest scoring Creighton newcomer in 47 years with an 18.2 scoring average. ... Butler's 85-81 home loss to Georgetown on Saturday night was the first loss under coach Chris Holtmann when scoring 80 points (30-1) or shooting 50 percent from the field (now 25-1).
No. 22 Creighton uses 3-pointers to beat No. 16 Butler
The Sports Xchange | Jan 31