Garden City hands Butler men their first loss of the season

Garden City hands Butler men their first loss of the season

GARDEN CITY, Kan. – The second-longest winning streak in program history has come to an end for the Butler men's basketball team with an 83-72 loss at Garden City.

The loss is the first of the season for the nation's fourth-ranked team after a 22-0 start to the season. Butler remains in first place in the Jayhawk West at 8-1 with a two-game lead in the standings over both No. 18 Hutchinson and No. 25 Barton, which are both 6-3.

Butler led just three times in a physical game slowed by fouls. The Grizzlies led 8-5 early on after back-to-back buckets by Kyle Steward and Jacolby Harris. But then Butler started the first of its multiple offensive slumps as Garden jumped in from 15-10. Butler was within three points midway through the first half before Garden City went on a 14-3 run to take control of the contest, leading 34-20 with 5:29 left in the period.

Butler made a run, scoring the final six points of the half to get within 43-36 at the break. The Grizzlies  were within six at 52-46 when Butler went on an 8-0 run with a basket by Kyle Steward and back-to-back 3-pointers by Travis House and Adrion Williams to take a 54-52 lead with 12:31 left in the game.

Butler's last lead came when Damien Akao hit a 3-pointer with 7:35 to play in the game, giving Butler a 63-62 advantage. The Grizzlies, however, would go nearly four minutes before scoring again, trailing 69-63 before Robert Joiner made a free throw with 3:51 to play. The Grizzlies would get within two at 70-68 after a basket by Jacolby Harris with 2:34 to go, but Garden City controlled the contest from that point.

Kyle Steward and Lamar Wofford led Butler with 13 points apiece while Chris Howell added nine.

The Grizzlies now have a week off before playing a home game against No. 18 Hutchinson on Saturday at the Power Plant with a scheduled 7:30 p.m. tip time.