INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Thompson scored 17 points and found Bryce Nze for the go-ahead layup with 68 seconds left in overtime Saturday to complete a remarkable second-half comeback with a 70-66 upset of No. 8 Creighton.
The Bulldogs overcame a 71-58 deficit over the final 7 1/2 minutes of regulation and also scored the final seven points in overtime after trailing 66-62. Butler (4-7, 3-5 Big East) has won four straight home games against the Bluejays.
Denzel Mahoney scored 23 of his season-high 29 points in the second half to lead Creighton (10-3, 6-2), which had a six-game winning streak snapped.
The Bulldogs opened a 35-25 lead when Nze started the second half with a 3-pointer, but they quickly squandered it by missing 14 consecutive shots.
Creighton took full advantage, with Mahoney scoring 12 points during a 16-1 run to give the Bluejays a 41-36 lead. Mahoney’s three-point play with 11:28 left extended the margin to 51-38.
Butler answered with a 17-2 spurt and took a 62-60 lead on Thompson’s layup with 57.4 seconds left in regulation. Mahoney tied it with two free throws and the Bulldogs missed three shots on the final possession.
Creighton then scored the first two baskets in overtime, but Butler pitched a shutout over the final 3:07 and Nze made it 67-66 with his layup. He finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Creighton: The Bluejays looked like they would pull away in this one. Instead of putting it away, they gave it away. Mahoney’s flagrant foul late in regulation opened the door for Butler, and the Bluejays never recovered as starting point guard Marcus Zegarowski missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury.
Butler: It’s been a rough year. First, a COVID-19 outbreak shut down the program for more than two weeks following a season-opening win. Then the Bulldogs lost Thompson, their catalyst, with a sprained left knee. No, they’re still not full strength, but this victory should give them some momentum.
Creighton: Welcomes Providence to Omaha, Nebraska, on Wednesday for the first of two straight home games.
Butler: Visits DePaul on Tuesday in the first meeting between the teams this season. The December contest was postponed.