Butler men maintain conference lead with home win over Cloud

Butler men maintain conference lead with home win over Cloud

EL DORADO, Kan. – The Butler overcame a halftime deficit against Cloud County to remain unbeaten at home on the season and maintain their lead in the Jayhawk West.

The eighth-ranked Grizzlies, down seven at the half rolled past Cloud County in the second half of a 64-52 victory. With the win, Butler is now 26-2 overall and 12-2 in Jayhawk West play – still a game ahead of Barton, which is now 11-3 after holding off Colby by a 75-73 score at home on Wednesday.

Butler led 11-6 early after a slam dunk by Lamar Wofford with 12:41 to play in the half, but the Grizzlies went nearly five minutes before getting another point, that coming on a free throw by Chris Howell with 7:44 to play in the half.

The Grizzlies fell behind 19-17 before getting four straight points on a bucket by Robert Joiner and then two free throws by Caelan Neal to lead 21-19 with 3:30 left in the period.

Butler, however, would not score again in the first half. Cloud scored the final nine points of the period to lead 28-21 at the break.

Butler started quickly in the second half and tied the game 32-32 with a pair of Chris Howell free throws.

The Grizzlies took the lead for good on a basket by Howell with 12:56 to play, followed up 30 seconds later by a 3-pointer by Travis House that made it 39-35.

Four straight points from Kyle Steward pushed the lead to double digits for the first time at 48-37 with 9:10 to go.

Cloud would cut the gap to five points later in the contest, but a bucket and free throw by Lamar Wofford with 2:51 to play put Butler back up 58-50 and Cloud would not challenge again.

Chris Howell led Butler with 14 points off the bench, while Lamar Wofford finished the night with a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.  Robert Joiner added 11 points for Butler.

The Grizzlies shot 43 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Cloud 35-30 while also forcing 24 Cloud turnovers.

Butler will now play its final road game of the season when it travels to Liberal on Saturday to take on Seward. It will be a matchup of the two teams who have combined to win the past five Jayhawk West titles.