The Butler women clamped down defensively with a dominating 73-37 win over visiting Allen County on Monday night at the Power Plant.
The Grizzlies earned their third straight win by beating an Allen team that had come in on a three-game winning streak of its own. Butler is now 6-2 on the season and improves to 3-2 in Jayhawk Conference play. Allen County dropped to 4-5 overall and also 3-2 in conference play.
"Over the years I've been here, one of the things we've been pretty good at is our defense," Butler head coach Mike Helmer said. "After coming off the Cowley win, I was a little worried about a letdown. We started slowly, but then we got rolling."
Butler rode the hot hand of Raven Prince early in the game as she scored two quick buckets to give Butler a 4-0 lead. She would finish the first quarter with nine points. Butler, which had led by 10 early in the quarter, saw the lead shrink to 18-13 at the end of the period.
The Grizzies responded by scoring the first 11 points of the second quarter, holding Allen scoreless for nearly four minutes. Butler pushed the lead to 19 points at 34-15 after Kendriana Washington made one of two free throws with 3:47 left in the half. Allen closed the half on an 8-2 run, but Butler still led 36-22 at the break.
Butler's defense was at its best in the third quarter, holding Allen County to just four pounts over 10 minutes in the period. The Grizzlies pushed the lead past 20 points and led 51-26 going to the fourth.
Defensively, Butler held Allen to just 21 percent shooting from the floor (11-of-53), including just 17 percent from 3-point range (3-of-18). Butler also forced Allen into 24 turnovers.
Butler now embarks on a series of games that will send the Grizzlies on the road for three of the final four games of the first semester. Butler will play at Independence on Wednesday before hosting Dodge City on Saturday, then will play road games at Hutchinson and at Cloud County before the three-week holiday break begins.
NOTES: Under Helmer, Butler is 16-0 against Allen County. The Red Devils last beat the Grizzlies during the 2007-08 season, winning two games in non-conference play... Washington recorded her first double-double of the season and has scored double digits in four of the five conference games.