Butler women win sixth straight with 76-63 victory at Garden

Butler women win sixth straight with 76-63 victory at Garden

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — The Butler women picked up a huge road victory with a 76-63 win at Garden City on Wednesday.

Ericka Mattingly led all scorers with 16 points and was one of four players to score in double figures for Butler (12-5 overall, 9-5 conference), who have now won a season-best six consecutive contests.

Garden took an early 5-2 lead in the first quarter, but after a Butler 12-0 run, the Grizzlies never trailed again in the contest. Taylor Birch connected from the top of the key on a three-pointer to tie the contest at 5-all, then Mattingly followed with back-to-back baskets. After a Kyla Callins layup, Raegan Sanchez made a trey up to to give Butler a 14-5 lead.

Leading 16-8 after one quarter, the Grizzlies extended their lead to 20 midway through the second quarter. Butler opened the quarter with a 13-1 run with Awreona Ransom making consecutive layups to begin the run.

Jalise Smallwood added a jumper and a three-pointer, then Morgan Littlewood scored on a layup. Mattingly finished the run with a layup to put Butler up 29-9 with 4:09 before the break.

Garden (10-8, 7-7) ended the first half on a 15-4 run as Butler lead 33-24 at halftime.

Butler extended its lead to as many as 23 points in the second half, courtesy of a 16-2 run to start the third quarter. Birch hit consecutive treys during the run, while a jumper by Callins with 5:23 remaining in the quarter gave Butler a 49-26 advantage.

Garden cut the deficit to nine points on two separate occassions in the fourth quarter, but could not come any closer.

In addition to Mattingly, Birch finished with 13 points, Jalise Smallwood added 11, and Ransom scored 10 behind 5-of-9 shooting from field.

Butler made 51 percent (29-of-57) from the field, while Garden struggled at a 32 percent clip (23-of-72). The Busters shot poorly from beyond the arc, making just 19 percent (6-of-32).

Butler will next host No. 13 Seward County on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Seward (16-2, 12-2), who is tied atop the Jayhawk Conference standings with Colby, has won nine straight games. The Saints are coming off a 62-49 road win over No. 17 Hutchinson, which was their first win at Hutchinson since 2009. Seward defeated Butler 72-58 back on Nov. 15 in Liberal.