Marcus Zegarowski matched a career-high with 32 points on 10-of-12 shooting and paced a sharp offensive performance by host Creighton in a 93-73 victory over Butler in Big East play on Saturday night in Omaha.
No. 14 Creighton (18-7, 14-6 Big East) had already locked up the No. 2 seed in next week's Big East tournament before the game and will play in the quarterfinals on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Bluejays played their first game without coach Greg McDermott on the bench. McDermott was suspended by the school last Thursday following racially insensitive comments he made to his players last week. Assistant coach Al Huss began serving as Creighton's interim coach.
Creighton players wore black T-shirts during pregame warmups with the words "There is no way around racism" printed on the front.
The Bluejays put together one of their best halves of the season, scoring 46 points, which was the most allowed in a half by Butler (9-14, 8-12) this season.
Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with a season-high 29 points to go with six rebounds and four assists and became the first freshman to lead Butler in scoring during the regular season in 41 years. Bryce Golden also finished with 19 points.
The Bluejays earned some payback for their earlier overtime loss to the Bulldogs on Jan. 16 in Indianapolis. Zegarowski, who missed that first meeting with a hamstring injury, scored 18 of his points in the first half.
Denzel Mahoney also had 15 points while Christian Bishop recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Damien Jefferson finished with 12 points. Mitch Ballock had nine points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Butler clearly missed not having senior guard Aaron Thompson, who had 17 points and six assists in 41 minutes the first time the two teams played. Thompson is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
The Bulldogs, whose season has been marred by numerous injuries, lost Bryce Nze with 6:48 left in the first half. Nze landed awkwardly and clutched at his lower right leg while lying on the court for a few moments. Nze, who finished with six points, already missed two games earlier this season due to a groin injury.
--Field Level Media