Big lead slips away late for Butler in regional quarterfinals

Big lead slips away late for Butler in regional quarterfinals

The Butler women's basketball team led by double digits in the fourth quarter of Monday's Region VI quarterfinal game against Cowley, but could not hold on at the end, falling 69-67.

The loss ended Butler's season at 21-10, marking the eighth straight 20-win season for the Grizzlies. Cowley (26-6) advances to tomorrow's regional semifinal to take on top-seeded Seward County.

Butler never held a lead in the opening half, trailing 16-9 after one quarter and 30-24 at halftime. However, once the Grizzlies started to get rolling in the second half, it appeared they would be the team to be advancing to the semfinals.

Butler opened the second half with three straight three-pointers - including two by Kyla Callins, which cut Cowley's lead to one and sparked a 15-0 Grizzly run over the next four minutes. Callins' second trey started the run, then Taylor Birch followed later in the quarter with a jumper to give Butler its first lead of the game at 35-34 with 5:52 remaining in the quarter.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 11 points on two occasions in the third quarter, going up 49-38 on an Awreona Ransom layup just just 44 seconds left in the quarter.

Butler still led by double digits at 58-48 after an Ericka Mattingly layup with 7:37 to go in the game. Cowley responded with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 58-58 with four minutes remaining, getting consecutive three-pointers from Kaitlyn Potter and Julia Nygard.

Cowley would regain the lead on a layup and free throw by Samantha Schwab made it 63-60 with 2:05 to go. Butler cut the deficit back to two on a Birch three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining, but Nygard would hit two foul shots just two seconds later to seal the win.

Mattingly led Butler with 19 points and 10 rebounds, marking her fifth double-double in her final game as a Grizzly. Ransom added 10 points for the Grizzlies, who shot just 39.4 percent (26-of-66).

Brenda Silva finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds for Cowley, who made 48.2 percent (27-of-56) from the field and was nearly perfect from the free-throw line (11-of-12, 91.7 percent)