BULLDOG SHOOTING WOES DEFEATED BY RESILIENT BLUEJAYS
- Marcus Foster, Justin Patton, and Khyri Thomas combined for 45 points on 18-32 shooting
- Butler shot 7-27 from the three (26%), Creighton shot 13-21 from three (62%)
- Creighton assisted on 19 of its 29 makes / Butler assisted on 9 of its 27
- Butler won the rebounding margin 35-27
- Kamar Baldwin, Kelan Martin, and Andrew Chrabascz combined for 31 points on 14-39 shooting
After a bizarre start to the game that featured mismanagement of the shot clock that ended up wiping 3 points off the board for Butler, Tyler Wideman and Kelan Martin got things cooking for the Bulldogs, combining for 9 points in the first five minutes of the game.
Creighton fought back with threes from Cole Huff and some brilliant post play by Zach Hanson.
Marcus Foster struggled to get things going, starting 1-5 from the field, yet had a bit of redemption with a gorgeous lob into the paint to Zach Hanson, who scored with ease. Creighton continued attacking the paint, and eventually eased back and took a lead at 13-12.
Justin Patton was hit with his second foul at the 12:20 mark and didn’t see any action for the rest of the half, and at the first media timeout it was 15-13 after a Woodson three.
Davion Mintz, who got the start, seemed a bit off throughout the first half. At one point in time he dribbled directly into a defender and lost the ball, resulting in a jump ball. Tyler Clement entered and steadied the ship, eventually spurring the Jays onto a 12-0 run that got them a 29-26 lead.
Here’s how Creighton scored on that 12-0 run:
- Isaiah Zierden three, 24-20 BU
- Marcus Foster dribble drive, 24-22 BU
- Tyler Clement 1-2 from FT line, 24-23 BU
- Tyler Clement kick-out from paint to wide open Cole Huff for 3, 26-24 CU
- Khyri Thomas three, 29-24 CU
That was enough for Chris Holtmann as he ordered his troops to call a timeout to right the ship. After Kethan Savage nailed a couple of free throws, Kamar Baldwin responded by picking Clement’s pocket and taking it coast-to-coast for a bucket to round the score out at 29-26.
Cole Huff nailed a three over seemingly every Bulldog on the floor, putting the Jays up 32-28. Kelan Martin responded on a put back on the other end to make it 32-30.
The roars from the crowd began to swell at Hinkle and in the return possession for the Jays, senior center Zach Hanson stood around for a long time holding the basketball until the shot clock expired. The roof came off, the Bulldog faithful roaring with ferocious intent.
Their Bulldogs did not disappoint as Nate Fowler drilled a wide open triple at the other end. With the rafters swaying and the asbestos filling the lungs of the fans, Marcus Foster responded with a delectable post up hookshot.
After a Khyri Thomas three, the first half fizzled out with a 37-33 lead for the underdog Creighton Bluejays.
Kamar Baldwin opened the second half with a three, yet was severely humbled on his next trip down the court as he drove the lane, flew to the basket, and had his shot denied by Justin Patton. It was one of those highlight reel blocks that only come around so often, with so much force behind Patton’s arms that it took the wind out of the casual observer’s lungs.
It was a back and forth affair until the first media timeout, with Justin Patton showing his stuff as he zipped through slip screens and scored at the rack. Andrew Chrabascz finally got a back down hook in the lane to fall over Zach Hanson, a feat I was sure was to occur multiple times in this affair. Instead, Chrabascz was wild from the field all night and missed more shots than Creighton did from three.
Tyler Wideman got hit with his third foul with 16:37 left in the game, yet stayed in for a majority of the half, yet past that point it became clear his defense was a bit tentative - more on that later.
The running Jays proceeded to go on another run, a 9-0 spurt, that went a little something like this:
- Patton scores on slip screen, 39-38 CU
- Davion Mintz goes coast to coast for a lay-up, 41-38 CU
- Patton drives to rim from the top of the arc, scores at the rim 43-38 CU
- Marcus Foster nails a three 46-38 CU
Tyler Wideman hit two free throws to break up the scoreless run, but Davion Mintz came right back and hit a three after insanity ensued after Foster got his shot blocked. Butler’s shooting woes continued as they missed again, which led to Justin Patton drilling a bucket from the free throw line.
Kamar Baldwin finally put a stop to the run, but the Bulldog defense had completely fallen apart as they allowed Mintz to bury another three.
With a 12-point lead it appeared that the Jays had entered cruise control, yet Butler slammed on the gas pedal and after a short run of their own put the game at 54-49 with 11:53 remaining.
The fans at Hinkle Fieldhouse may have attempted a voodoo spell during the media timeout, but in a prominently Catholic league this witchcraft was frowned upon as the Basketball Gods then blessed Justin Patton with a delicate touch, allowing him to go on a 6-0 run out of the break.
This run featured Tyler Clement lofting the ball lovingly in the air for Patton to cram into a rim, a beautiful entry pass for Patton to put up with ease, then a magnificent kick from Zierden in the corner to Patton cutting to the basket.
Chris Holtmann, disgusted with this display of pure basketball skill, called a timeout with 9:29 remaining, but it was 60-49 and the Bulldogs were treading some serious water.
Butler would never get within 7 from that timeout on. It seemed as if, down the stretch, every time the Bulldogs would score a bucket the Bluejays would return the favor twice.
Hell, even Tyler Clement knifed through Butler’s defense and scored an easy lay-up with about 4 minutes remaining.