Doug McDermott was his usual self during Thursday night's game at Butler, dropping 26 points and hitting a clutch 3-pointer, and Austin Chatman finished the Bulldogs off from the line, but it's possible no Bluejay contributed as much in the nail-biting 68-63 win as Will "Big Swag" Artino.
Artino recorded his first collegiate double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds. No board was bigger than his tenth. With Creighton (20-4, 10-2) up one point with 25 seconds left to play, the junior from Iowa chased down Andrew Chrabascz's miss, and the Bulldogs (12-13, 2-11) were forced to foul.
Chatman did the rest of the heavy lifting by sinking all four of his free throws in the final 20 seconds.
McDermott and the Jays got off to a hot start. McDermott scored 12 of CU's first 17 points, and the visitors led by 10 less than nine minutes into the action. The leading candidate for National Player of the Year awards scored just two points the rest of the half, while Butler's prolific scorer, Kellen Dunham got busy. Dunham sank three 3-pointers after CU's hot start, which allowed the Bulldogs to take the lead with under five minutes left until intermission.
Artino got going just after Dunham's final make of the half and scored eight points in the final four minutes and change, as CU took a three-point lead into half.
Jahenns Manigat exited the visitor's locker room to start the second half feeling good. The Canadian senior drained three triples in the first seven-and-a-half minutes. The senior's last three put CU up seven with 12:31 left on the clock. The Bulldogs, just as they did in the first half, responded quickly. Elijah Brown connected from deep before Dunham scored on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 54 midway through the second half.
The two BIG EAST newcomers traded narrow leads throughout the final 10 minutes. Butler's Khyle Marshall put the hosts up two late off a feed from Alex Barlow. On CU's ensuing possession, Manigat found an open McDermott behind the arc and the All-American put the Jays up one with 48 seconds to play.
Artino put the clamps on Chrabascz on the Bulldogs next possession and eventually grabbed the defensive board that got CU to the free throw line.
McDermott's 26 points moved him up two spots to number 15 on the NCAA's all-time scoring list, while his father, Greg, notched his 100th win at Creighton. The McDermott's will look for their 101st win in a Bluejay uniform on Sunday, when the Jays host BIG EAST leader Villanova.
Artino Comes Up Big Versus Butler
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