No. 17 Creighton defeated Butler, 87-56, Thursday night in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The second-seeded Bluejays advance to Friday’s semifinals, where they will face the winner of the UConn-DePaul game that will be contested later Thursday.
Butler’s season ends with a record of 10-15. The Bulldogs were the No. 10 seed in this year’s BIG EAST Tournament and won a first round game against Xavier Wednesday night in overtime.
Creighton improves to 19-7 on the season.
Creighton shot 63 percent from the field and 13-of-24 (54 percent) from three-point range. The 13 three-pointers made by Creighton are a season-high for a Butler opponent, bettering the 12 the Bluejays hit March 6 in Omaha.
Creighton took a 42-26 halftime lead behind 67-pecent shooting in the first half. A 14-0 spurt midway through the half gave the Bluejays a 23-7 advantage.
Bryce Nze led the Bulldogs with 21 points, just one off his high in a Butler uniform and his second 20-point game of the season.
Butler freshman Myles Tate was forced to leave the game with 17:50 remaining in the second half due to a left leg injury. He did not return.
With eight points against Creighton, Chuck Harris finishes the season with 310 points, just two shy of A.J. Graves (2004-05 season) for tenth on Butler’s single-season scoring list for freshmen.
Marcus Zegarowski led the Bluejays with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting (4-of-5 from three-point range). Damien Jefferson had 14 for Creighton, all in the first half.
The teams split the regular season series with each team winning at home. Butler took a 70-66 overtime decision at Hinkle Fieldhouse Jan. 16, while the Bluejays won 93-73 in Omaha March 6.