Tue, 17 May 2022

Creighton back on track with visit to Butler up next

Field Level Media
26 Jan 2022, 04:55 GMT+10

Creighton looks to extend its winning streak to three games when it visits reeling Butler in a Big East game on Wednesday at Indianapolis.

The Bluejays (12-5, 4-2 Big East) used a 17-0 run in the second half to rally for their 15th straight win over visiting DePaul 60-47 on Saturday. Creighton flashed its defensive potential, holding to DePaul to just 15 points in the second half.

Ryan Kalkbrenner had 18 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six blocks for Creighton, which also got 12 points and seven rebounds from Trey Alexander off the bench.

The Bluejays, who rallied from a 10-point deficit early in the second half against the Blue Demons, will again be led by interim coach Alan Huss on Wednesday. Head coach Greg McDermott has been in COVID-19 protocol since Jan. 21.

"(DePaul) hit us in the mouth first," Alexander said. "When we came out in that second half, we had the mindset that if we don't play harder than them, they're going to beat us."

Ryan Hawkins averages team highs in points (13.2) and rebounds (7.5) per game for Creighton, while Ryan Nembhard leads with 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals to go along with 11.7 points per game. Alex O'Connell (13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Kalkbrenner (12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, team-high 3.1 blocks) also play key roles.

Butler (9-10, 2-6), has dropped four straight games -- all to ranked teams -- by an average margin of defeat of 20.8 points. The Bulldogs lost by 40 to then-No. 14 Villanova, were blown out twice by then-No. 25 UConn and fell 69-62 at then-No. 21 Providence on Sunday.

Against Providence, the Bulldogs pulled to within 62-58 with 2:10 remaining, Chuck Harris turned the ball over. The Friars scored on their ensuing possession and were able to put the game away.

Harris, who averages a team-high 10.8 points per game, scored a game-high 21 points against Providence. Bo Hodges added 17 points and eight rebounds and Bryce Golden, who averages 9.3 points per game, chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

Butler was just 1 of 4 from the free-throw line, while the Friars were 10 of 14.

"They made a few more plays than we did down the stretch, got to the foul line a few more times," Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. "A lot of times, that's the difference."

--Field Level Media

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