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.
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.