Bluejay Fans Feel Appreciated
One dollar beverages flowed like the Nile in hot anticipation of this top-15 match up, a game between the solid Bulldogs of Butler and the high flying, pulverizing force known as the Creighton Bluejays. As the fans consumed their pre-game brews on Fan Appreciation Night, the Jays scored and defended as if they had something to prove, a performance that didn’t disappoint unlike the watered down Bud Light the fans went hoppy for.
With the shadow of Truman State hanging in the air like the thick cloud of exhaust from your neighbor’s remote start Land Rover, the Jays managed to cut through the impending big game on Saturday by walloping Butler to a profound degree.
There were key moments where you could feel the CenturyLink Center shake, like when Khyri Thomas threw down a one handed tomahawk to spread the lead to 17-9, or when Justin Patton threw an absolutely catastrophic block on a Kethan Savage offering. The crowd was absolutely lit up and the Jays pulled through.
What we were treated to in the first half was an absolute shellacking and outpouring of wide open shots for the Jays, leading to a 60% shooting night from the field in the first twenty minutes of the game.
Justin Patton was marvelous in the first half, showcasing his post play abilities while picking up an earth shattering blocked shot. The lead grew moreso when Tyler Lewis decided to leave Maurice Watson Jr., wide open from beyond the three point line, allowing him to grow confident with his shooting stroke. Cole Huff added 8 points of his own in an uncharacteristic blitz of offensive prowess.
Butler’s primary troubles came with Kelan Martin going 0-fer in the first half, missing all eight of the shots he took. It appeared that Khyri Thomas’s defense was too much for Martin to handle.
There was a particularly amazing post play by Toby Hegner, in which he backed down his opposition, spun to the top of the inside circle, and offered up a skyhook that even Kareem would approve of.
Halftime Score: Creighton 47 - Butler 27
The first ten minutes of the second half became the battle of Creighton keeping the spread at 20. It was only until Kelan Martin finally decided to score that the Jays’ stranglehold on the game began to wither.
Martin scored four straight points, then cashed in on his third bucked and squared up to 6 points on the night. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they let Watson dictate the Jays’ offense as he proceeded to score on three consecutive drives to the basket.
At the 7:52 mark the Bulldogs were down just 17 points. It seems like a lot in normal basketball jargon, but in reality it was exactly that and Butler just didn’t have the horses or wherewithal to even attempt to match the pace.
From that 7:52 mark on it was pretty much over. Occasionally Butler would climb back and get their deficit down to 16, but it was too little too late.
There was a moment as the game wound down where Watson and Martin knocked knees, sending Watson to the floor as he held his knee and grimaced in a great deal of pain. Coach McDermott came onto the floor to check on his seemingly ailing point guard only for Mo to grab Toby Hegner’s hand and spring himself up in the air and run back to the bench.
Butler managed some garbage time points to make this game seem closer than it actually was, a feat you’ve got to respect since it probably saved them some heartburn when reviewing the end-of-year box scores.