Butler battles No. 20 Creighton in Big East action

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Updated: 1/14 10:44 am

Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - The Creighton Bluejays broke into the top-20 with a defeat of Xavier on Sunday, and they will try to keep their perfect league ledger intact, as they host the Butler Bulldogs in Big East Conference action at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Butler's struggles have been well documented recently, as the Bulldogs have lost four straight in Big East play, including a 70-67 heartbreaker in overtime to Georgetown Saturday. Since opening the season 10-2 overall, the Bulldogs have fallen to the bottom of the conference with their Big East struggles.

Creighton, on the other hand, has been riding a tidal wave of success with a nine-game win streak. The Bluejays are 4-0 in the Big East, which ties for the conference lead with Villanova. Creighton took care of business Sunday with a 95-89 victory over Xavier Sunday.

The Bluejays hold a slim all-time series lead against Butler, 4-3, but have won the last three meetings between the two programs. The last win for Butler in the series came in February of 1934.

Georgetown led by nine points over Butler with just under seven minutes left to play in regulation in the Bulldogs' last contest. A late Butler rally sent the game to overtime, where the Hoyas shot 60 percent from the field and outscored Butler 10-7 for the three-point win. Kellen Dunham led all scorers in the game with 21 points for the Bulldogs, who fell to 0-4 in Big East play. Dunham was 6-of-19 shooting, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Khyle Marshall netted 18 points before fouling out of the game, while Andrew Chrabascz scored 14 off the bench with six rebounds. The Bulldogs were exactly 33.3 percent shooting from the floor, going 20-of-60 in the contest.

Dunham and Marshall have led the way for the Bulldogs this season in scoring, ranking one-two on the team. Dunham nets an impressive 18.8 ppg on 39.7 percent shooting from the floor. Marshall isn't too far behind Dunham's total at 15.9 ppg, but surpasses Dunham's accuracy with 55 percent shooting this season. Kameron Woods (92. ppg this season) leads the Bulldogs in rebounding at 9.7 rpg. As a unit, Butler is averaging 75.3 ppg compared to its opponents' 67.1 ppg.

Despite the questionable status for Sunday's game against Xavier, Doug McDermott shrugged off any signs of a sprained shoulder and helped his Bluejays defeat the Musketeers. Xavier and Creighton both entered the game on eight-game winning streaks. McDermott scored a game-high 35 points getting the start, and grabbed seven rebounds in the process. He shot 13-of-24 from the field, and hit 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. Ethan Wragge (15 points), Austin Chatman (12) and Jahenns Manigat (11) each contributed double figures, while Devin Brooks netted 14 off the bench. Manigat added a team-high six assists in the win.

McDermott's scoring average improved to 25 ppg this season, while his team- leading 7.3 rpg average stayed right around its normal productivity. Despite the sensational offensive attack Creighton possesses, the Bluejays have just one other player averaging double-digit point totals per game. Wragge nets 12.3 ppg, while Manigat is third on the roster at 8.3 ppg. Still, Creighton manages 82.3 ppg this season and is holding opponents to 65.3 ppg.

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