The Butler Grizzlies outscored Cowley 20-9 in the extra period as they defeated the Tigers 70-59 in overtime at the Power Plant on Monday claiming sole posession of third place in the conference race.
The Grizzlies won against a team that made it all the way to the national championship last year, without leading scorer Marque English who did not play. They improve to 11-0 at home this year.
The Grizzlies shot just 9-27 from the field in the first half, yet found themselves down just one point at the half. The Grizzlies led by as many as seven in the second, but Cowley scored the final five points in regulation to tie the game. They did not miss a shot in the extra frame and made all 10 free throws as they settled the victory.
With a short bench, the Grizzlies needed their starters to deliver, and they did just that. Only seven players saw the court, but four of the five starters scored in double figures, led by Keyon Thomas who had 18, and Eden Holt with 15 on five three pointers. The Grizzlies finished with 18 points off turnovers, and 24 points in the paint.
Defensively, Butler held the Tigers to just 26% from the three point line, and outrebounded Cowley, 30-28. Issac Ondekane led the Grizzlies on the boards with six, in addition to scoring eight of Butler's 10 bench points. The Grizzlies forced 13 turnovers, with five different players recording steals.
The win puts the Grizzlies back in the win column after a loss to Seward last week, improving to 15-5 on the year and 9-5 in Jayhawk Conference play, and they'll look to keep the momentum going with two key road contests this week, traveling to Pratt on Thursday before facing rivals Coffeyville at Nellis Hall on Saturday.