Butler women rally from 10 down to beat Pratt

Butler women rally from 10 down to beat Pratt

The Butler women rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit to defeat Pratt 66-59 on Saturday at the Power Plant.

With the win, Butler improved to 14-4 overall and 4-1 in Jayhawk West play. The Grizzlies were led in scoring by Kynadi Johnson, who finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Ashley Gibson scored all of her 14 points in the second half, while Katie Palmer added 11. Jurnee Reid pitched in with eight points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

Butler trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, partly due to leading scorer Ashley Gibson picking up two fouls and playing only seven minutes. The Grizzlies trailed for nearly the entire first half, scoring the game's first basket on a Kynadi Johnson layup.

Pratt then made a 7-0 run, beginning with a Jazzmen Ortiz three-pointer. The Beavers took their biggest lead of the game at the 7:53 mark of the half, as Teairra Luckett and Lanina Spence hit consecutive three-pointers. Spence's trey would be Pratt's last basket of the half, as the Beavers finished the half 0-for-9 from the field.

The Grizzlies took advantage by pulling within three before the break. Kynadi Johnson scored three straight baskets, then Jurnee Reid added a field goal off an offensive rebound making the score 27-25 in favor of Pratt.

After two Pratt foul shots, Butler's Ashlyn McBride made 1-of-2 charity shots with 1.7 seconds left to put Butler down 29-26 at halftime.

Katie Palmer opened the second half with a pair of three-pointers to give Butler a 32-29 lead with 18:11 remaining. The Grizzlies stretched the lead to eight points thanks to Gibson's play. The sophomore scored three straight baskets, then after Sarah Parker hit 1-of-2 foul shots, Gibson added another field goal to put Butler up 41-33 with 14:27 left.

With Butler up 46-41 with 11:41 to play, Pratt would chip away at the lead despite not hitting a field goal for a seven-minute stretch, making 10-of-12 free throws. Lanina Spence's layup with 4:09 remaining pulled the Beavers within one, 54-53. After Kynadi Johnson hit 1-of-2 charity shots, Pratt's Kajaira Mays followed with a three-point play, giving the visitors a 56-55 lead with 3:16.

Jazzmen Ortiz added a three-pointer to put Pratt up 59-57, but Ortiz's trey would be the last Beaver basket. Butler closed the game with a 9-0 run over the final 2:42 of the contest.

Nia Roberts forced a steal, then Johnson followed with a basket inside to put Butler back on top 60-59 with 2:04 to play. After a Pratt offensive foul, Johnson made a nice bounce-pass assist to Jurnee Reid to give Butler a three-point lead. Pratt missed three straight shots on the next possession, then Gibson added the final basket with 21.9 seconds remaining.

The win keeps Butler undefeated in 13 contests against Pratt under head coach Mike Helmer.

Butler will next play at Cloud County on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Concordia.