That’s right, Butler’s 24 points during the first half were equaled by Creighton’s — guess who — Doug McDermott, the conference’s leading scorer. The senior forward only finished with 28 points on the night, but that’s because the game was decided after the first 20 minutes. He could have sat out the rest of the game and the Bluejays still would have won by a score similar to the 88-60 result of Tuesday’s game.
To no one’s surprise, Creighton (15-2, 5-0 in Big East) was in control throughout the contest. Butler (10-7, 0-5 in Big East) was left wondering how it was so outplayed so effortlessly and when it would pick up its first conference win.
The Bulldogs have experienced an awful transition from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East. After losing the young and talented coach Brad Stevens to the NBA, Butler was hit with another blow when it found out its budding star Roosevelt Jones would miss the season because of injury. Now in the middle of January, the Bulldogs are not only looking for their first conference victory, but also their dignity.
The future does not look too bright for Butler, either. Most experts would have thought the Bulldogs would pick up their first win as members of the Big East against DePaul, but a double-overtime loss proved otherwise. The following game against Georgetown resulted in yet another overtime loss, this time by just three points.
Looking ahead, there is no opponent on the Bulldogs’ schedule that is a lock for a win. Butler will face a talented Marquette team Saturday, followed by a road contest against Bryce Cotton‘s Providence Friars. If the Bulldogs still have not won their first conference game by then, they will have a tough time earning it against their next opponents — at home against St. John’s and then at Seton Hall, Marquette and Georgetown.
Creighton, on the other hand, can turn all of its attention to its next and most difficult challenges up to this point in the season, Providence and no. 6 Villanova. The Friars, while talented, should not give the Bluejays too much trouble, but the road game against the Wildcats will give fans an idea on who the best of the Big East really is.
If Creighton continues playing like it did tonight, the Big East title may be just the beginning for the Bluejays.