The Butler Grizzlies improved to 10-0 at home this season with an impressive 77-68 win in a battle of two top 25 teams at the Power Plant against Colby on Monday, avenging an early season loss against the Trojans in November.
The Grizzlies were led by Keyon Thomas, who scored 19 points leading the Grizzlies in scoring for the fourth time this season, but they found balanced scoring throughout the game, as all five starters finished with double figures. Jaden Okon finished with 16 and Isiah Williams had 15. The Grizzlies shot a scorching 52 percent as a team, the seventh time this season they've shot 50% or higher, and 42% from three point range. The Grizzlies were 4-9 from three point range in the second half and that helped them pull away for the victory.
The game was tied at the half, one of 10 ties and 13 lead changes on the night. Neither team led by double figures, and it was a one possession game for most of the second half. The knockout blow came with just over a minute left, as Jaden Okon hit a fadeaway three with just one second left on the shot clock, to put the Grizzlies up by five points, a lead that they never relented.
It was a huge night for the Grizzlies defensively, against a Trojans team that scored 104 points against them in the previous game, and came into tonight averaging 87 points and 49% shooting. Butler held Colby to 44% and just 68 points. Colby finished just 7-22 from three point range and the Grizzlies also forced 15 Trojan turnovers. The Grizzlies were outrebounded for just the fifth time this season, but the stifling defense was still enough to overcome the Trojans.
The win puts Butler's record at 14-4, and 8-4 in conference play. The Grizzlies have now won four of their last five games and are on a two game winning streak, which they'll hope to extend with a trip to Liberal to play the Seward Saints on Wednesday, a team the Grizzlies defeated in overtime in November.