EL DORADO, Kan. – The Butler men used a 17-0 run midway through the first half to take control against visiting Colby and cruising to an 80-54 win on Wednesday night at the Power Plant.
With the win, Butler maintains a one-game lead over Barton in the conference standings after the Cougars won at No. 21 Hutchinson on Wednesday. Butler is 23-2 overall and 10-2 in the Jayhawk West. Barton, 22-5 overall is 10-3 in conference play.
Butler struggled offensively eary on, and Colby led 18-14 in a low-scoring start to the game. Butler then went on a 17-0 run to take a 31-18 lead and led 33-20 at halftime. That surge included three 3-pointers by Damien Akao, who led the Grizzlies in scoring with nine points at the half.
Butler continued to pull away in the second half. Caelan Neal had a steal and a dunk to put Butler up 52-32 with 13:10 to go and then Kyle Steward had a dunk to put the Grizzlies up 64-34 with 8:52 left.
Chris Howell and Jacolby Harris led Butler with 13 points apiece and Kyle Steward had 11. Howell just missed a double-double, leading the team with nine rebounds. Brian Starr led all scorers with 20 points for Colby.
Butler hits the road on Saturday for another crucial conference contest at Pratt. Butler needed a last-second shot to beat Pratt at home after coming from 21 points down at halftime in that game.