When a team that prides themselves on finesse gets down and dirty to try to win a ballgame it becomes an art exhibition that no one wants to walk through.
This ballgame featured a lot of moments, some with heavy meaning, some without. It all depends on what you were feeling as things began to transpire.
Creighton came into this one on a bit of a high after beating Georgetown. Butler came off a tough loss to the best team in the conference. The two teams intersected on a frigid night in Omaha. Perhaps some will chalk this up to a heavyweight fight that went ten of the twelve rounds. Perhaps some will fault the referees for their schizophrenic calls.
One thing you cannot fault and must trumpet was Creighton’s defensive toughness. Sure, they let backdoor cuts go unabated and got burned by Kamar Baldwin on a few possessions, but overall it was a stout and unwavering effort by the Jays. They were trotted out as a weak team that will break if bent. Tonight they showed that they have that mettle to battle and fight.
Butler blew out the Bluejays at Hinkle. They were beaten into submission. They didn’t allow that to happen tonight no matter what punches Butler threw at them.
Kamar Baldwin is a truly special player in this league when he carries this team on his shoulders. His unrelenting quickness and ability to make insane shots makes him one of the toughest one-on-one players in the conference. His defensive aggression makes him that much more special too.
In the second half he had a breakaway towards the basket and got fouled hard by Mitch Ballock. The entire Creighton team swarmed to try to help him up, Ballock included, since he garners that much respect. It was eventually called a flagrant one.
Overall, Creighton didn’t play the Creighton way to win the game. I mean that by saying that they didn’t shoot the Bulldogs they simply out fought them. If you look at the box score, which you should do, you’ll find a +11 rebounding margin. That’s real. Davion Mintz and Marcus Zegarowski combined for 12 rebounds. Martin Krampelj had 8. Mitch Ballock had 7. There was a ferocity and level of effort and grit that’d been unseen thus far this season. It was laid bare on the court for all forty minutes and it was glorious.
Krampelj was magnificent in his 29 minutes on the court. He had a slick steal as Butler tried to get the Jays off balance and tried to feed the post. He dove for 50-50 balls. He had two ferocious dunks, one that he performed a chin-up on. He rejected a ball so hard it may have injured Sean McDermott.
Ty-Shon Alexander was great again, hitting big shots in momentum-building moments. He nailed a wide-open three in the first two and a half minutes of the second half that forced Butler to take a timeout. He was an absolute killer.
More to come...
PLAY BY PLAY
Ballock three after Krampelj gets fouled
Krampelj dunk on a steal by Ty-Shon 5-0 18:30
Krampelj dunk down low on a feed from Mintz
Brunk strong move down low against Krampelj, lays it in 7-5
Easy out of bounds play, Tucker lays it in 7-7 17:00 left
Ballock long three from the beak of the Bluejay, 10-7
Shot clock violation, lockdown D 16:10
Froling defensive foul 16:00; media timeout
Fowler called for a foul under the basket going for an offensive rebound
Froling missed three on the other end
Ty-Shon called for a reach-in foul down low
Easy out out of bounds play for Butler, Fowler scores
Travel by Ty-Shon 10-9 CU 14:50 left
Jorgenson tough drive and finish
Davion tough drive and finish, 12-11
Jorgenson missed jumper
Zegarowski strong drive, uses his body for the finish
Baldwin tough drive and finish 14-13 13:30 left
Ty-Shon fouled on drive to the hoop, makes one, 15-13 13:18
Christian David fouled on a backdoor cut, makes one FT, 15-14 CU 11:55 left
Turnover by Cashaw leads to tough bucket on a 3-on-1 breakaway, Baddely cashing in, 16-15 BU
Mintz easy drive to the bucket, 17-16 CU 10:40
Thompson drive to bucket, foul on Ballock. Misses both.
Offensive foul on Bishop
Martin Krampelj and-one on strong Nova pump fake. Misses the free throw, 19-16 CU 9:15 left
Kamar Baldwin offensive foul on baseline drive, shoves forearm into Zeggy’s face
Krampelj scores on nice dish from Zeggy
Kamar Baldwin makes three, 21-19 CU 8:25 left
McDermott bricks a three
Ballock drive to the top of the key to nowheresville, throws it out of bounds
Baldwin backs down Mintz in the post, scores with ease 21-all 7:25 left
Jordan Tucker fouls Froling on a screen, Froling proceeds to miss the front end.
Baldwin drives baseline and stuff the entire Bluejay defense
Froling scores an and-one on a dish from Ballock, makes the freebie 24-23 CU 6:47 left
Baldwin airballs a three, Ty-Shon turns it over on the other end trying to pass the ball before he ever had possession
Zeggy gets an and-one on a strong baseline drive to the bucket, Butler’s 9th foul of the half with 5:34 remaining. Zeggy makes the freebie, Jays up 27-23
Christian David misses a three, Ty-Shon has pass rejected on the other end.
Jorgensen called for a foul, Jays now in the double bonus. Ballock makes both free throws, Jays lead 29-23 with 5:08 left.
Joregensen misses strong drive, Ballock misses long three on the other end.
Golden cashes on a drive
Ty-Shon hits a gorgeous floater in the lane, 31-25 Jays 4:10 left
Jorgensen hits a long three, 31-27
Krampelj called on an aggressive screen, his first foul. 3:39 left.
Tension building to a crescendo perhaps? Jorgensen starting to play rough.
Fowler three on the wing, 31-30 CU
Zeggy strong drive to the hoop, 33-30 CU lead 2:45
Joregensen missed jumper
Ballock slick drive to the basket 35-30 2:15
Fowler missed lay-up down low
Ballock out of bounds in front of Butler bench 1:35 left
Krampelj steal, defense has been solid tonight
Ty-Shon fouled by Fowler while shooting a three, makes two of three, 37-30 1:08
Mintz THREE with 44 seconds left on a vicious fastbreak; wide open, crowd standing applause, Jays finishing the half strong. lead 40-30. Butler timeout.
Jorgensen jumper at free throw line, 40-32 with 19.3 left.
Christian David hits wide-open lay-up at the buzzer on a turnover by Mintz
40-34 at half.
Baldwin breaks Mintz’s ankles, gets jumper to fall on a fadeaway
Krampelj finishes down low, 42-36
Mintz slashes to the bucket for a finish, 44-36
Brunk scores on an and-one, second foul on Ballock, Brunk misses 44-38 18:16 left
Zeggy misses open corner three
Brunk misses short on lay-in, great defense by Krampelj
Ty-Shon sinks a wide-open trey ball, Jordan calls timeout, 47-38 with 17:21 left
Mintz foul on a pass to Baldwin, his first foul
Brunk backs down Krampelj in the post, scores easily 47-40
Zeggy misses a lay-up
Brunk fumbles a pass out of bounds 16:15 left
Ty-Shon misses a one handed slam on a strong drive to the paint, out of bounds on Butler
Ballock misses contested three pointer
Brunk receives pass in the post, Krampelj and Mintz miss on block attempts, dunks it home
Krampelj with a slick move to the bucket, scores on a lay-in
Ty-Shon gets a steal, beats everyone down court, gets two guys off their feet, cashes on a lay-in, 51-42 with 14:10 left
Huge block by Krampelj, rebound by Ballock, score on fastbreak by Mintz 53-42
Travel by Brunk, place is erupting
Zeggy misses a lay-up
Baldwin with a sick drive to the bucket with a euro-step 53-44
Fowler blocks Zeggy on a drive to the bucket, out of bounds on Butler
53-44 12:48 left
Mintz contested three meets iron, rebound Butler
Christian David can’t handle hot pass, out of bounds on Butler
Jorgensen missed jumper
Ballock made three in the corner, assist to Joseph 56-44
Joregensen missed three
Ballock missed three
Baldwin missed lay-up
Poor pass from Ballock, fouls Baldwin hard on the other end on a drive to the bucket. Looked like he hit Baldwin in the head, refs will assess flagrant foul.
Flagrant one called
Baldwin three 56-48 10:21 left
Foul on Tucker, his third personal foul
Kaleb Joseph three, 59-48 9:40 left
Tucker three 59-51
Foul on Baddley
Foul on Baldwin, shoved forearm into Ty-Shon on three consecutive backdowns
Ballock back in, immediately gets called for an offensive foul for his fourth foul
Missed three by Tucker, Brunk with the offensive board
Foul on Zeggy
media timeout; 59-51 with 7:53 remaining
Foul on Ty-Shon after getting bowled over
Connor Cashaw goes to catch a pass and instead just lets it go out of bounds for some fucking reason
Baldwin hits an impossible shot from the hip 59-53
Ty-Shon hits a nasty step back three, 62-53 5:50 left
Mintz gets called for a reach-in foul on Baldwin
Baldwin sinks both free throws. 7-3 foul advantage for Butler. 62-55
Baddley fouls Krampelj. Sinks both, 64-55 5:19 left
Loose ball goes the Bluejays way, three bodies diving on top of it, lots of hustle and grit.
Mintz throws the ball to NO ONE on the end of the bench. Turnover.
WEDGIE! at 4:05 on a Jorgensen shot.
Cashaw fouls Tucker, media timeout. 3:59 left. 64-55 Jays
Tucker makes both free throws. 64-57.
Thompson grabs Mintz’s arm in weird super-agro foul?? something is amiss.
Ballock back in with 4 fouls.
Foul on Ty-Shon for doing something weird. Butler has become very aggressive on the defensive end.
Tucker sinks both free throws 64-59 with 3:23 left.
Mintz finishes at the rim, gets fouled by Fowler. Fowler’s fourth foul. And-one completed by Davion, 67-59 3:07 left.
Thompson runs right into Cashaw going 100 miles per hour, putting a body on him. Cashaw draws the charge! Third on Thompson.
Christian David puts a hand on Ty-Shon’s chest and gives him a push. Ty-Shon to the line, Ty-Shon makes both. 69-59.
Ty-Shon jumps on a loose ball and calls timeout. Heady, brilliant play by the sophomore shooting guard.
Zegarowski turnover, out of bounds. 2:12 left, 69-59.
Baldwin slips and falls on the court, foul called on Mintz. Baldwin makes both free throws, 69-61 with 1:58 left.
Krampelj does a chin up on a breakaway dunk. 71-61 1:35 left
McDermott flies in for a lay-up, gets rejected by Krampelj. McDermott helped off the court.
Missed three by Fowler
Ty-Shon fouled by Baldwin. Makes both. 73-61 with 1:02 left.
Missed lay-up by Tucker. Rebounded by the Jays.
Ty-Shon takes it coast-to-coast and hits a wide open lay-up as the shot clock expires.