Kamar Baldwin scored 20 points and Sean McDermott added 18 points and 11 rebounds as No. 11 Butler opened its Big East home schedule with a 71-57 victory on Saturday over visiting Creighton.
Baldwin had all of his points in the second half as the Bulldogs (14-1, 2-0 Big East) won their fifth consecutive game. Baldwin was 0 of 9 from the field in the opening half and finished 7 of 22 as he played through an ankle injury that occurred in Tuesday’s Big East opener at St. John’s.
Marcus Zegarowski scored 15 points and Damien Jefferson added 12 as Creighton (12-3, 1-1) saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end.
Baldwin, who entered with 14.3 points per game, did not make his first field goal until 16:34 remained. He did not hit his first 3-pointer until 8:12 was remaining after starting 0 of 6 from distance. The senior guard was coming off a career-best five made 3-pointers at St. John’s.
Butler led by as many as 13 points in the first half and took a 34-24 lead into the break after both teams struggled from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Butler’s signature defense held Creighton to 34.5 percent shooting in the first half and 38.9 percent in the game.
Far more productive in the second half, the Bluejays pulled to within four points on two occasions, the last at 54-50 with 6:28 remaining. Creighton then went 3:32 without a field goal, a drought that ended when Jefferson scored with less than three minutes remaining.
Butler outscored Creighton 17-7 over the final 6:14 to seal the victory. McDermott delivered his second consecutive double-double, which are the first two on the season for the freshman.
Aaron Thompson scored 10 points for Butler, which shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and 45.9 percent in the game. The Bulldogs are 9-0 at home.
Ty-Shon Alexander had 11 points for Creighton.
—Field Level Media