Sophomore Tamara Lee paced the Butler women with a team-high 16 points in a 65-62 win over Cloud County (11-5, 3-2) to open up the 2016 calendar year in the Power Plant on Saturday afternoon.
Butler (13-3, 3-2) led in the early going 17-12 after the end of the first quarter but the second quarter saw the visiting Thunderbirds take a one-point advantage into the half 31-30.
A pair of Raven Prince free throws put the end to a 10-0 run by Cloud County at the 5:05 mark of the third quarter with the Thunderbirds leading 43-33. Then Prince sparked a 6-0 run that consisted of her connecting on six consecutive free throw attempts to pull Butler within four with just over three minutes left in the third. Butler would fight to even the score at 49-all at the end of the third period.
A Grizzly 7-2 run to begin the fourth gave Butler the lead for good. The Grizzlies ended up outscoring Cloud 16-13 in the final frame to earn the third conference win of the season.
Along with Lee's 16 points, the Butler women also had key contributions from Raven Prince and Alecia Gulledge. Prince finished nine points and four rebounds while shooting 7-of-7 from the free throw line, while Gulledge had seven points, four rebounds and three steals.
Imari Bell, Nakylia Carter and Nia Roberts each had eight points, while Cassie Pauls finished with five points and tied her career high of seven rebounds. Hayley Leeper and Janee Arnold tallied two points apiece to round out the scoring for the Grizzlies.
Next up, the Butler women travel to Dodge City for a 6 p.m. matchup against the Lady Conquistadors on Wednesday, Jan. 6.