Butler women open conference play with win over Garden

Butler women open conference play with win over Garden

The Butler women opened conference play Saturday afternoon with an 83-49 victory over Garden City at the Power Plant.

Ashley Gibson led all scorers with 20 points - including hitting 10-of-13 foul shots. Katie Palmer added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Nia Roberts added 11 points. Brayden Byrd came off the bench to score 10 in the Grizzly victory.

Butler (11-3 overall, 1-0 Jayhawk West) trailed just once in the contest as Garden scored the opening basket, but the Grizzlies used an 18-0 run shortly after to gain control.

During the 18-0 run, Garden was held without a field goal for nearly a nine-minute stretch. Two foul shots by Tori Spann finally broke the run at 6:28 mark, then the Busters netted a field goal about a minute later. Ashley Gibson scored six points during the spurt, while Katie Palmer nailed a three-pointer.

Butler took a 36-21 lead into halftime, hitting 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field while holding Garden City to just seven field goals.

Leading 47-37 with under 13 minutes to play, the Grizzlies scored 10 straight points. Jurnee Reid had a pair of steals that resulted in layups, while Palmer added a three-pointer and a layup during the run.

Butler added another 10-0 run later in the second half as the Grizzlies built a 32-point lead. Kynadi Johnson's basket in the lane at the 4:39 mark gave Butler a 77-47 lead. In the final minutes, Nia Roberts and Sarah Parker scored baskets to end the scoring, giving Butler its largest lead at 34.

The 34-point victory over Garden is the largest margin of victory over the Broncbusters in the Mike Helmer era. Butler improved to 5-8 against Garden under Helmer and have won three straight games against the Busters.

For the game, Butler shot 56.6 percent (30-of-53), while Garden managed just 30.4 percent shooting (14-of-46). The Grizzlies outrebounded the Busters 38-23.

The Grizzlies travel to face No. 2 Hutchinson (14-0) at the Sports Arena on Wednesday. The Blue Dragons have won eight straight over Butler, with the last two meetings coming in Region VI tourney play. Last year, Hutchinson defeated the Grizzlies 54-52 in the Region VI final, which was Butler's first appearance in the championship game since 1996. Wednesday's tipoff from Hutchinson is at 5:30 p.m.