Creighton's Marcus Foster (0) reacts after shooting a 3-pointer during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 11:08 pm
Foster scores 23 in No. 25 Creighton's 85-74 win over Butler
ERIC OLSON | Associated Press
Marcus Foster scored 21 of his 23 points in the first half, Martin Krampelj had 14 points and 14 rebounds for his third straight double-double and No. 25 Creighton beat Butler 85-74 on Tuesday night.
The Bluejays (14-3, 4-1 Big East) won for the ninth time in 10 games and improved to 11-0 at home. The Bulldogs (12-6, 2-3) lost their third straight since upsetting then-No. 1 Villanova on Dec. 30.
Foster was coming off a season-low nine points on 3-of-14 shooting at Georgetown on Saturday. He bounced back quite nicely, leading the way during a run that broke open the game midway through the first half and scoring eight of the Bluejays' last 10 points before the break.
Foster took on the role of playmaker in the second half, passing for six of his season-high eight assists, including a couple big ones after Butler pulled within six points late.
Butler's star, Kelan Martin, struggled with Khyri Thomas guarding him. After averaging 25.8 points in the Bulldogs' first four Big East games, Martin was held to two in the first half and 10 for the game. He did have 11 rebounds.
Creighton led by 18 early in the second half and was still up 69-55 with 8:39 left. Butler then went on a 13-5 run, with Martin backing down Thomas twice in the post to make it 74-68.
Foster scored his first basket of the second half on a turnaround shot in the lane with 3:04 left, but Paul Jorgenson answered with a mid-range jumper to keep it a six-point game.
Foster then fed Davion Mintz for a reverse layup and Krampelj for a dunk to put the Bluejays up 80-70 with a minute to play, and the Bulldogs missed seven of their last eight shots from the floor.
Jorgenson had 18 points, Kamar Baldwin added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Aaron Thompson had 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Thomas had 14 points and three steals for Creighton.
Butler: The Bulldogs need a break after playing their fourth straight ranked opponent. They had a 37-32 rebounding advantage, and four players scored in double figures. But they need Martin more involved on offense early.
Creighton: The Bluejays had 23 assists on 33 field goals and continue to show they are tough to beat once they get going in transition.
Butler hosts Marquette on Friday.
Creighton visits No. 10 Xavier on Saturday.
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