Zegarowski can't miss, No. 15 Creighton routs No. 21 Butler

Zegarowski can't miss, No. 15 Creighton routs No. 21 Butler
Creighton coach Greg McDermott gestures during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Marcus Zegarowski made all seven of his 3-pointers and finished with 25 points, and No. 15 Creighton beat No. 21 Butler 81-59 on Sunday for its fourth straight win over an AP Top 25 opponent.

The Bluejays (22-6, 11-4 Big East) have won nine of 10 and remain one game behind conference-leading Seton Hall.

Butler (19-9, 7-8), which dropped its third straight game, played the second half without season scoring leader Kamar Baldwin. He limped off the court late in the first half with an injury to his left ankle.

Zegarowski led Creighton’s torrid shooting performance, setting his career high with the seven 3s. The Bluejays finished with a season-high 15 3s on 26 attempts.

Christian Bishop had a career-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists, and Ty-Shon Alexander scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.

Henry Baddley led Butler with 13 points and Sean McDermott added 10.

Creighton was just 4 of 22 on 3-pointers in a 71-57 loss at Butler on Jan. 4. The Bluejays had 10 3s in the first half alone Sunday, with Zegarowski making five as the Bluejays began to pull away.

They led 40-21 at halftime after outscoring the Bulldogs 17-2 and holding them without a field goal over the last 6:15.

The onslaught continued in the second half, with the crowd coming to its feet when Mitch Ballock passed to Bishop for a thunderous fast-break dunk and again when Zegarowski and Alexander made back-to-back 3s to make it 57-30.

Zegarowski went to the bench for good with just under 12 minutes left and coach Greg McDermott emptied his bench the final six minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Butler: The Bulldogs came in with the Big East’s top defense, allowing 62 points per game. They had given up that many with 11 1/2 minutes left in the game, and Creighton’s 81 were the most Butler has allowed in regulation (Marquette had 89 in an overtime game). The Bulldogs’ offense couldn’t get any rhythm established without Baldwin and shot a season-worst 38%.

Creighton: The Bluejays are one of the hottest teams in the country. They’ve won five straight conference games for only the second time since joining the Big East in 2013. Their five wins over Top 25 opponents is a season record.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A last-second loss to Seton Hall coupled with the blowout loss at Creighton probably will knock Butler out of the Top 25. Creighton beat back-to-back ranked teams in Marquette and Butler and should move up.

UP NEXT

Butler hosts DePaul on Saturday and will try to avenge a 79-66 loss to the Blue Demons on Jan. 18.

Creighton goes for the two-game season sweep at St. John’s next Sunday.

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