Two days after overcoming a double-digit halftime deficit, Creighton faced another big hole as it assembled in the locker room.

Things didn’t go as planned this time.

Butler blitzed Creighton with an opening run before putting the game away with a decisive third-quarter surge, handing the Bluejays their most lopsided defeat in the nine-year history of Sokol Arena. Creighton (10-9, 4-4) never led Sunday and trailed by as many as 34 points in the 75-43 loss.

“We kind of worked our way back into it in the second quarter,” Creighton coach Jim Flanery said. “But then out of halftime, it was over pretty quick.”

On Friday, the Jays erased Xavier’s 34-21 halftime lead by the middle of the third quarter. They scored the final five points of regulation, forced overtime and won 66-62.

A similar rally seemed possible Sunday.

Creighton had solved the fullcourt press that helped Butler build an early lead. Defensive adjustments cooled the Butler offense a bit in the second quarter. Senior Audrey Faber’s layup on the first play of the third trimmed Butler’s lead to 37-25.

But that was as close as Creighton got.

The Bulldogs (16-2, 6-1) hit five consecutive field goals during a 16-3 run, never relenting despite an unusual weekend. They lost in triple overtime at Providence Friday. Winter weather forced them to stay overnight in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and kept them from practicing in Omaha Saturday.

But the veteran team, sparked by senior Whitney Jennings, responded well, Butler coach Kurt Godlevske said.

“It was our character, and the drive of our point guard,” he said. “I thought we got away from us at Providence and did not do the things defensively that we had worked on all fall. I challenged them to get back to being us.”

The defense set the tone Sunday.

Butler’s press forced four turnovers on four consecutive Creighton possessions in the first quarter — a stretch that turned an 11-4 lead into a 19-4 advantage. Flanery said he should have done a better job preparing his team for that.

The Bulldogs finished with a 28-8 edge in points off turnovers. They also finished plus-18 rebounding and earned 23 trips to the foul line.

That was more than enough to put away Creighton, which had its worst shooting day of the year.

The Jays made a season-low 30.0 percent of their shots. They went 5 of 25 from 3-point range. Flanery said he thought they could have been better at reversing the ball and attacking the middle of Butler’s defense.

But, ultimately, CU got worked.

“It still doesn’t mean we can’t be a good basketball team, but we were not anywhere close to that (Sunday),” Flanery said.

Butler (16-2, 6-1).........20 17 23 15 - 75

Creighton (10-9, 4-4).....7 16 12 8 - 43

BU: Strong 9-14 3-4 23, Jenningts 7-13 3-3 18, Spolyar 3-9 4-4 11, Schickel 2-4 6-10 10, Weaver 2-7 0-0 4, Caceres 2-8 0-0 5, Brey 1-3 0-0 2, Robinson 0-0 2-2 2, Sexton 0-1 0-0 0, Ross 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 18-23 75.

CU: Faber 4-11 2-2 12, Carda 2-4 4-5 8, Owens 2-4 0-0 5, Agnew 0-6 0-0 0, Griglione 0-0 0-0 0, Kissinger 3-7 1-4 7, Rembao 2-4 0-0 5, Brotzki 1-5 0-0 3, Turner 1-4 0-0 2, Saunders 0-3 1-2 1, Dworak 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 15-50 8-13 43.

3-point goals: BU 5-21 (Strong 2-6, Spolyar 1-3, Caceres 1-3, Jennings 1-4, Sexton 0-1, Weaver 0-4), CU 5-25 (Faber 2-6, Owens 1-2, Rembao 1-2, Brotzki 1-4, Carda 0-1, Saunders 0-1, Turner 0-1, Dworak 0-2, Agnew 0-3, Kissinger 0-3). Rebounds: BU 46 (Schickel 12), CU 28 (Faber, Agnew 5). Assists: BU 16 (Weaver 5), CU 10 (Faber 4). Turnovers: BU 11, CU 18. Total fouls: BU 16, CU 22. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. A: 1,083.

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