Butler men struggle down stretch against No. 15 Coffeyville

Butler men struggle down stretch against No. 15 Coffeyville

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — No. 15 Coffeyville proved to be too much for the Butler men down the stretch Thursday night, as the Grizzlies faltered late in the second half in a 91-77 road loss at Nellis Hall. 

Butler (13-14 overall, 10-13 conference) rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to tie the contest at 55-all with 13:19 to play, but the Red Ravens used a late 22-3 run to pull away for their 12th straight win.

Adrian Moore led Butler with 19 points and five rebounds, while Jared Armstrong and Ketarrious Bouchum added 16 points each.

Butler fell behind 20-11 in the first half after Coffeyville (24-4, 20-4) made a 15-4 run before the midway break. The Grizzlies answered back with a 10-0 run, taking a 21-20 lead after Karlon McSpadden hit two foul shots with 7:05 left in the half.

A quick 6-0 Coffeyville run that included two consecutive baskets by Keon Queen put the Ravens back in front. Coffeyville then ended the half on a 12-5 run which led to a 43-31 halftime lead.

Trailing 50-38 with 16:15 remaining, Butler quickly cut the deficit to three points in the span of 80 seconds. After Moore hit 1-of-2 foul shots, Armstrong and Moore hit back-to-back treys. Following a Coffeyville timeout, Moore stole the inbounds pass on the baseline and scored on a lay-in to get the Grizzlies within 50-47 with 14:36 left.

Butler pulled within one less than a minute later on a Karlon McSpadden trey, then after a Coffeyville basket, Armstrong tied the game at 55-55 with a three-pointer at the 13:19 mark.

Coffeyville then flipped the switch, scoring six straight points to move back in front. The Grizzlies would get within three again on two occasions, the latter coming on a Bouchum basket at 63-60 with 10:20 left.

The Ravens then pulled away, limiting Butler to just one field goal over a 7:20 span while making a 22-3 run to put the game out of reach. Queen was the key Raven, scoring 12 of his 16 second-half points during the spurt. The freshman forward led all scorers with 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

With the win, Coffeyville moves into a first-place tie in the Jayhawk Conference standings with Barton, setting up a key matchup Saturday between both teams in Great Bend.

Butler likely loses its chance to host a first-round playoff game with the loss. The Grizzlies, who trail eighth-place Seward County by two games with two league games remaining, will host Neosho County in the home regular-season finale on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.