Butler men struggle in conference-opening loss to Garden

Butler men struggle in conference-opening loss to Garden

After averaging more than 120 points per game in non-conference games, the Butler men were held to less than half of that in a 77-59 loss to Garden City to open Jayhawk Conference play on Saturday at the Power Plant.

The Grizzlies shot just 28 percent in the game (18-of-64) and were 24 percent from 3-point range (5-of-21).

Butler (3-1 overall, 0-1 conference) had an early 7-5 lead after a pair of Russell Smith free throws with 15:06 left in the first half, but Garden City responded by going on a 13-0 run to go ahead 18-7.

Garden (5-0, 1-0) built the lead to 26-11 before the Grizzlies hit back-to-back 3-pointers from Karlon McSpadden and Justin Criddle made it a 26-17 game with 8:34 left in the half.

Garden pushed the lead back to double digits quickly and led 39-24 at the half.

Butler would once again cut the deficit to nine points early in the second half but could never get any closer down the stretch.

Karlon McSpadden, Adrian Moore and Antferene Adams scored 11 points apiece while Russell Smith had 10. Russhard Cruickshank scored 22 to lead Garden City.

Butler takes to the road for the first time this season, heading to Liberal to face Seward County for an 8:00 p.m. contest on Wednesday.