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Creighton men's basketball snaps six game losing streak in Kalkbrenner's return

Posted at 10:32 PM, Dec 22, 2022

OMAHA (KMTV) — The Creighton men's basketball team snapped its six game losing streak on Thursday night in Ryan Kalkbrenner's return, beating Butler, 78-56.

Courtesy: CU Athletics

Junior Ryan Kalkbrenner returned to the court and led four Bluejays in double-figures with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting as the Creighton men's basketball team defeated Butler 78-56 on Thursday, Dec. 22.

The win lifted Creighton to 7-6 on the season and 1-1 in BIG EAST play, snapping a six-game losing streak, while Butler fell to 8-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The home team has now won the last 11 regular-season meetings in the series.

Playing in front of the Bluejay faithful for just the second time in the last four weeks, Creighton struggled to find their rhythm early as the Bulldogs defense forced three turnovers and limited the Bluejays to a 3-of-8 shooting to start the game.

Down 16-7 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Nembhard ignited a Bluejay rally with a layup and a three-pointer from the wing. Following a pair of Butler baskets, Creighton used an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 22-20. Kalkbrenner sparked the run with a trey from the top of the key, before Scheierman beat the shot clock with a three from 25-feet out and freshman Fredrick King threw down a two-handed slam.

The Bluejays would extend their lead out to 28-22 with 6:08 remaining in the opening half on back-to-back three-pointers from Scheierman and Arthur Kaluma. Butler would close to within one at 32-31 with 2:48 left, but another 8-0 burst gave the Bluejays a 40-34 lead at the break.

Kalkbrenner led all scorers with 19 points, while Scheierman contributed 14, Kaluma added 12 and Nembhard scored 11 respectively. Scheierman also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds to lead the Bluejays to a 37-19 advantage on the boards, including 23-6 in the second half. Creighton shot 56.0 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from the three-point line.

Clinging to a 40-34 lead at the break, Creighton put the game away with a 17-4 burst to push the lead out to 61-44 with 11:08 remaining in the game as Kalkbrenner scored nine of his game-high 19 points during the stretch.

Creighton's lead grew to as much as 22 on a traditional three-point play by freshman Zander Yates, as the Bluejays closed the game on a 10-2 run to secure the 78-56 win.

Butler got a team-high 14 points from Chuck Harris in the loss. As a team, Butler shot 42.1 percent from the field, but just 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from behind the three-point line.

Creighton returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 25, when it plays host to DePaul in its first Christmas day game since 1953. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be nationally televised by FOX.

NOTES: Baylor Scheierman has made a three-pointer in 23 straight games and multiple treys in 20 games in a row ... Creighton has made a three-pointer in 961 straight games ... Creighton blocked a season-high eight shots, including three swats by Scheierman ... Creighton's 16-7 deficit was its largest in a victory this season ... Creighton avoided its first 0-2 league start since 2014-15.