Late spurt lifts Butler men over Cowley, 94-83

Late spurt lifts Butler men over Cowley, 94-83

The Butler men avenged an earlier loss for the third time this season, this time downing Cowley 94-83 at the Power Plant on Saturday.

While the Grizzlies won by double digits, the game was not decided until the final three minutes, when Butler snapped a tie game and outscored Cowley 13-2 to close out the game.

Butler had lost 116-97 at Cowley earlier this season, but Saturday's game was not only more defensive, but also more tightly contested.

Butler separated slightly midway through the first half. After trailing 15-14, the Grizzlies went on a 17-4 run to take a 31-19 lead after a layup by LaJuan Hardy with 6:44 left in the half.

Cowley answered, however, getting back within two points. Butler finished the half with two thunderous dunks by Johnnathan Lindsey, both on assists from Hardy, and the Grizzlies led 44-37 at the break.

Butler pushed the lead back to double digits early in the second half when Karlon McSpadden made a layup to make it a 55-45 game at the 15:11 mark, but Cowley didn't go away. Instead, the Tigers methodically chipped away at Butler's lead and managed to tie the game 79-79 after a Ryker Pierce layup with 3:17 to go.

The game was tied 81-81 after another Pierce bucket with 2:37 to go, but that only set the stage for Will Adler. After getting fouled, he made one of two free throws to make it an 82-80 game with 2:30 to go.

Adler then hit 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor and Butler led 88-83. After a defensive stop, Johnny Lindsey scored and was fouled. His free throw put Butler up 91-83 with a minute to play and effectively closed the door on Cowley.

Lindsey and Hardy scored 22 points apiece to lead Butler, while Lindsey had a double-double with 15 rebounds. His 22 points included eight dunks. Jacolby Harris had 16 points for Butler and Adler scored 15. Derieko Smith scored 25 points to lead Cowley.

The Grizzlies, who are now 14-6 on the season and 11-6 in Jayhawk Conference play, finish the month of January with a 7-1 record. Cowley is now 12-9 and 9-8 in the conference. The Grizzlies go on the road on Wednesday to take on Allen County.