EL DORADO, Kan. – The Butler women dominated Cloud County defensively for the first 15 minutes of their game on Wednesday on their way to a 65-51 win at the Power Plant.
Butler would jump out to a 7-0 lead before Cloud scored its first bucket with 17:34 to go in the first half. The Thunderbirds would not score again until the 4:56 mark – a scoreless span of nearly 13 minutes. By that point, Cloud had 10 turnovers and had made just one of its first 16 shot attempts.
In that time span, Butler had built a 29-2 lead. The Grizzlies led 31-4 before Cloud put together a 13-0 run late in the first half. Ashley Gibson scored with four seconds left in the period to give Butler a 33-17 lead at the break.
The lead would hover around 20 points for Butler, the latest being 65-45 after a Millie Shade free throw with 1:05 to play. Cloud would hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute to close the gap to 14 by the game's end.
Butler had three players in double figures as Ashley Gibson had 17 points, Kynadi Johnson scored 15 and Katie Palmer had 14. The Grizzlies held Cloud to 29 percent shooting for the game, but Cloud did make 10 3-pointers in the game while Butler was just 2-12 from that range. Butler also struggled at the free throw line, going just 17-30 for 56 percent.
Butler is now 21-6 overall and is third in the Jayhawk West at 11-3. The Grizzlies are on the road to face second-place Seward on Saturday. The Saints, ranked seventh nationally, are 13-1 in conference after an 80-61 win over Garden City on Wednesday.