DODGE CITY, Kan. – The Butler men overcame a nine-point deficit in the second half to defeat Dodge City 80-78 and stay undefeated on the season.
The Grizzlies, ranked fourth nationally, are now 22-0 overall and 8-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play. The Grizzlies now have a two-game lead in the conference standings after No. 25 Barton County lost 95-94 at Cloud County on Wednesday.
Butler trailed 21-18 in the first half before going on a 9-0 run. Lamar Wofford and Jacolby Harris had buckets, followed by a pair of free throws by Robert Joiner. When Kyle Steward hit a 3-pointer with 4:44 to play in the first half, the Grizzlies led 27-21.
Dodge City would come back to tie the game late in the period. Kyle Steward scored with 46 seconds before halftime, giving the Grizzlies a 33-31 lead at the break.
The Conquistadors started stroking 3-pointers to start the second half and would take a 45-36 lead with 15:45 to play.
Butler would mount its comeback starting with Chris Howell, who scored seven straight points. When Robert Joiner hit a 3-pointer with 10:19 to play, the Grizzlies had come all the way back to tie the game.
Butler continued its surge and led by double digits for the first time following an offensive rebound and put back by Travis House with 4:40 to go that made it a 69-59 Butler lead. The Grizzlies had outscored Dodge City 33-14 over a period of 11 minutes.
The Grizzlies were still up 78-69 after a free throw by Derrick Byrd with 1:24 to go, but Dodge City hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get within 78-75 with 55 seconds to play. Jacolby Harris went to the free throw line twice in the final minute, each time hitting just one of two free throws, making the score 80-75. Dodge City would get one more 3-pointer in the final second, but the Grizzlies were able to inbound the ball on the final play of the game to run out the clock.
Butler got balanced scoring with five players in double figures, led by Chris Howell with 15. Kyle Steward had 14, Robert Joiner and Jacolby Harris had 12 apiece and Lamar Wofford had 10. Howell led Butler with eight rebounds while Steward had seven.
Butler will be on the road again on Saturday when the Grizzlies travel to Garden City.