#22 Creighton Men’s Basketball Wins Top-25 Battle at Hinkle Fieldhouse, 76-67
Posted By: Sports
Courtesy: Creighton Athletics
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Freshmen Justin Patton and Davion Mintz combined for 20 points in the second half as the No. 22 Creighton men’s basketball team moved into second place in the BIG EAST with a 76-67 win at No. 16 Butler on Tuesday night.
The victory clinched Creighton’s (20-3, 7-3 BIG EAST) 26th season of 20 or more wins in program history, and 17th in the last 19 years. Butler lost consecutive games for the first time all season to fall to 18-5 (7-4 BIG EAST).
It was also Creighton’s third win this month over a ranked team, and fourth overall. Both are program records. It was also the first time that Creighton has won multiple games over the same ranked team in the same season, and Creighton’s fifth win ever (and second this month) in 74 true road games against top-25 foes.
The teams played evenly in the game’s first seven minutes before Creighton big man Patton went to the bench after two fouls in a span of 26 seconds just before the second media timeout. Trailing 24-17 and on the verge of letting the game get away, Creighton’s seniors stepped up. A three-pointer from senior Isaiah Zierden started a 12-0 run that featured two three-pointers by Cole Huff and another by Khyri Thomas. Thomas later added a corner trey in the final minute of the first half as CU took a 37-33 lead into the locker room.
Huff and Thomas each drained three triples in the opening half to lead a Bluejay barrage that shot 8-of-12 from deep in the first 20 minutes. Creighton had 11 assists on 14 baskets. Butler, which shot 12-of-32 in the first half, was paced by seven from Kelan Martin at the break.
Butler retook a 39-38 lead after scoring the first five points of the second half, but Creighton answered with a 9-0 flurry of its own. Freshmen Patton and Mintz scored the first six in the burst before a trey by Marcus Foster pushed the margin to eight at 46-38. After two free throws from Butler, Davion Mintz buried a three-pointer, Patton a 15-foooter and another trey by Mintz capped a 17-2 run and made it 54-42.
Butler got a hoop by Kamar Baldwin and scores by Avery Woodson and Kethan Savage during a 7-0 run that re-ignited the sellout crowd of 9,100. But Patton would have other ideas. Tyler Clement lobbed an alley-oop to Patton to silence the fans, and he then scored the next two trips as well as part of a 6-0 run that pushed the lead back to 60-49 with 9:29 to go.
Foster and Thomas combined to score Creighton’s next 10 points before a Clement lay-up moved CU’s lead to 72-59 with under four minutes to go, and Butler got no closer than seven (74-67) the rest of the way.
Just six days after a 1-for-18 effort from deep in its last road game at Georgetown, the Bluejays shot 13-for-21 from three-point range (61.9 percent). Patton, Foster and Thomas all scored 15 points as part of a balanced Bluejay attack. Creighton shot 55.8 percent from the field and had 19 assists on 29 field goals.
Butler was led by 14 points from freshman Kamar Baldwin, while Kelan Martin added 11 points and eight rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 40.9 percent from the field and were 7-of-27 from three-point range (25.9 percent).
Creighton returns home on Saturday to host Xavier at 2 pm at CenturyLink Center Omaha. The Musketeers are ranked 25th in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll.