NEW YORK – (Staff report from Official News Release) – Defending national champion Villanova and No. 8 Creighton established themselves as the two best teams in the conference this week. In a Wednesday league game, Creighton used a strong first half to defeat Butler, while Marquette recovered in overtime to defeat Seton Hall.
In front of another sellout crowd at CenturyLink Center, Creighton built a 20-point lead by halftime in its 75-64 victory over No. 12/13 Butler. The Bluejays are tied with Villanova for first place in conference play with a 4-1 record and are 16-1 overall. Maurice Watson Jr. paced four players in double figures with 21 points. Khyri Thomas added 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Avery Woodson was the only Butler player in double figures, scoring 14 points. The Bulldogs are 14-3 overall and 3-2 in the BIG EAST.
After Seton Hall made up a seven-point deficit in the final 46 seconds of regulation to force overtime, Marquette bounced back in the extra period to win 89-86. Freshman Markus Howard led the Golden Eagles with 22 points and six assists. He did not commit a turnover in 42 minutes of playing time. Backcourt mate Haanif Cheatham played all 45 minutes and finished with 17 points, five assists and only one turnover. Seton Hall’s Desi Rodriguez led all scorers with a career-high 30 points. Angel Delgado registered his 10th straight double-double with 14 points and 19 rebounds. Thirteen of his boards were on the offensive end.
BIG EAST play picks up on Saturday afternoon with four league games and two non-conference contests. Three games are at noon ET – Connecticut at Georgetown (FOX), No. 3/3 Villanova versus St. John’s (FS1) at Madison Square Garden and Seton Hall at Providence (FSN). At 1 p.m., Creighton hosts Truman State (FS2). No. 15/14 Xavier plays at No. 12/13 Butler (FS1) at 2 p.m. DEPAUL travels to Marquette (FSN), also at 2 p.m.