Butler builds early lead but falls at No. 19 Barton, 74-67

Butler builds early lead but falls at No. 19 Barton, 74-67

GREAT BEND, Kan. – The Butler men built an early lead on Wednesday at No. 19 Barton but could not hold off the Cougars in a 74-67 loss at the Barton Gym. The loss is the first for Butler in its past three trips to Barton. 

Butler fell behind 4-0 early but battled back and eventually built a lead as big as seven points when Sean Osler scored on an offensive rebound, making the score 18-11 with 10:45 to play in the first half. Barton would answer, however, with an 11-0 run to regain the lead. The Cougars would stretch their lead to as many as nine points late in the half and led 40-33 at the break.

In the second half, Butler would get within five points at 45-40, but eight straight points by Barton pushed the lead to 53-40 for the Cougars. The Grizzlies would twice cut Barton's lead to four points at 71-67 with 25 seconds to play, but could not score again.

Butler was led by Andrew Victoria, who had 22 points and six rebounds. Sean Osler had 17 points and Justin Simmons added 12 for the Grizzlies. Dwayne Brunson led Barton with a game-high 26 points.

The Grizzlies are now 8-17 overall and 2-9 in the Jayhawk West Conference, with eight of the nine losses by nine points or less. The Grizzlies return home to face Colby on Saturday, trying to avenge an earlier 69-64 loss on the road to the Trojans in January.