MiDLAND, Texas — Butler women's basketball finished 2-1 at the Midland Tipoff Classic winning the first game Thursday over Jacksonville College, falling to the tournament host Midland on Friday night and closing out the tournament with a win over Air Force Prep on Saturday.
Butler fell 69-55 against Midland on Friday after shooting just 36 percent (22-of-61) from the field, while Midland made 43 percent from the field. The Grizzlies forced 33 turnovers on 19 steals, but lost the rebound battle by a 20-rebound margin of 42-22.
The Grizzly offense failed to find their rhythm as they assisted on only three baskets in the contest. RaVon Nero and Tamara Nard were the only Grizzlies in double figures scoring as Butler posted their lowest scoring total of the season.
RaVon Nero led the team in points with 15 points and three steals, while Tamara Nard tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Zayda Perez and Camille Downs each finished with six points apiece.
Sixteen hours after the Midland loss, Butler refocused and responded with a 65-55 win over a tough Air Force Prep team to close out the tournament.
The Grizzlies shot a 43 percent clip from the field and made 75 percent from the free-throw line.
"We were better on Saturday," said head coach Mike Helmer. "We improved on fouling less but other than that, we have a long way to go. I am not pleased with how we played this weekend."
Butler won both the rebounding and turnover battle in the game while holding the Huskies to only 33 percent from the floor. Butler assisted on 18 different baskets throughout the game which allowed for more Grizzlies to get involved on the offensive end of the basket.
Jelesa Gross scored a season-high 16 points to lead the team and added five rebounds, while Dana Johnson pitched in with 12 points. Tamara Nard posted her fourth game this season in double figures with 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Although she didn't score, Camille Downs contributed by pulling down six rebounds and dishing out five assists. Zayda Perez added in nine points and had three steals.
"We have to buy in more as a team to move this thing forward. I want to see more of a family atmosphere; more about we and less about me," commented Helmer.
Butler (4-2 overall) returns to action with a road game Monday in Oklahoma, where they will face Northern Oklahoma-Enid at 5:30 p.m. The Grizzlies return home Tuesday with a 5:30 p.m. contest against Bethel College JV, then host Tabor College JV on Thursday in a 5:30 p.m. game. Thursday's game will wrap up a seven-game stretch over a 10-day period for the Butler women.