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Butler Bulldogs Fall to No. 25/22 Creighton In Omaha

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, still seeking their first win in 2018, traveled to face the #25/22 Creighton Bluejays on Tuesday, January 9. A second-half comeback fell short for the Bulldogs as Creighton pulled out an 85-74 win at the CenturyLink Center. Butler falls to 12-6 (2-3 BIG EAST) while Creighton improves to 14-3 (4-1 BIG EAST).

“They got comfortable early, and we didn’t want to allow them to do that, especially in this environment,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “It’s tough to dig out of that hole. I’m proud of the fight to get it back to a two-possession game. Just needed one or two more to fall at that time. We’ll get back in the film room and be better for the next one.”

Creighton opened the game with three from senior G Marcus Foster and went on to build a 5-0 lead with 19:00 remaining in the first half. A layup by senior F Kelan Martin and three by sophomore G Kamar Baldwin helped trim the lead before a layup from redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen tied the game at 7-7 with 16:54 remaining in the first half. A second three by Foster gave Creighton a 17-11 lead with 14:25 remaining before the break. A three by redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott kept the game close at 19-18 in favor of the Bluejays before Creighton rattled off a 13-4 lead that ended with a third make from deep for Foster. The run gave Creighton a 32-22 lead at the 7:44 first half mark. Butler scored on a layup from junior C Nate Fowler before Creighton put together a 9-0 run that included a thunderous dunk from junior G Khyri Thomas through the paint and a fastbreak dunk from Foster off a steal from Thomas. The run gave the Bluejays a 17-point lead at 43-26 with 4:28 remaining in the first half. Foster would score six of the final eight first half Creighton points to bring his total to 21 and the halftime score to 49-32.

Butler shot 44.8% (13-29) from the field, including 33.3% (2-6) from three. Creighton finished the first half at 52.8% (19-36) from the field, including 33.3% (5-15) from three. The Bluejays committed only one turnover in the opening half

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Junior Guard Paul Jorgensen

A steal and fastbreak layup by Kamar Baldwin helped trim the lead to 13 at 54-41 with 14:29 remaining in the game, but it was immediately answered with a three by sophomore F Martin Krampelj. A steal by freshman G Aaron Thompson led to a fastbreak layup from Kelan Martin to cut the lead to 10 at 65-55 with 9:35 remaining in the game. The lead was trimmed to 10 again on a jumper by sophomore G Henry Baddley before freshman G Ty-Shon Alexander responded with a three. But a three by Paul Jorgensen and a dunk by senior F Tyler Wideman in response to the Alexander three cut the lead to 72-64 with 5:57 remaining in the game. The Butler comeback effort continued as Kelan Martin scored four straight points after being down by ten to bring the Creighton lead down to 74-68 with 3:55 remaining in the game. A jumper by Jorgensen kept things interesting at 76-70 with 2:21 remaining, but the Bulldogs were unable to hit on their next shot attempts and watched as Creighton scored the next four points to seal the game at 80-70 with 0:59 remaining. The Bulldogs were forced to send the Bluejays to the free throw line and scored only twice on a Jorgensen three and Tyler Wideman free throw as the game finished at 85-74.

The Bulldogs finished the game at 47.1% (32-68) from the field, including 28.6% (4-14) from three. The Bluejays finished the game at 54.1% (33-61) from the field, including 33.3% (8-24) from three.

Butler lost the rebound battle, 27-25, and lost the assist battle, 23-11. Butler surrendered 15 points on nine turnovers while only managing to score six points off of seven Creighton turnovers.

Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen led Butler with 18 points on an 8-17 (47%) performance, including 2-6 (33.3%) from deep. He was one of four Bulldogs in double figures, followed by sophomore G Kamar Baldwin (15), freshman G Aaron Thompson (12) and senior F Kelan Martin (10). Martin added 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

Marcus Foster led Creighton with 23 points. Martin Krampelj had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Friday night match-up with Marquette. The 6:30 p.m. tip will air on FS1.

Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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