No. 20 Butler Suffers Defeat at No. 3 Barton

Photo Credit: Barton Athletics
Photo Credit: Barton Athletics

GREAT BEND, Kan. – It was not Butler's night at the Barton Gym as the No. 20 Grizzlies fell 93-71 to the No. 3 Barton Cougars on Wednesday night.

Barton (22-1, 16-1 KJCCC) shot 13-of-28 from distance and finished with 15 steals as Butler (17-5, 12-4) could not overcome the stellar play of the Cougars. Barton swept the regular season series with the win and has won 13 straight games this season.

"We played a really good team in a really good environment and they played really well," said head coach Kyle Fisher. "If they shoot 13-28 form three consistently, nobody is coming in here and beating them."

The game got out to a back-and-forth start as Butler tied the game at 11-11 as Khalil Arnold hit a jump shot. Ring Malith made back-to-back-to-back baskets including two threes to put Barton ahead 21-15. They led for the final 28:45 of the game following the stretch. Malith scored 31 points, hitting a career-high 7-of-10 threes. Following the 11-11 tie, Barton outscored the Grizzlies 32-17 to take a 43-28 halftime lead.

"Disappointed in how we played in the first half," said Fisher. "The difference in the game was our pitiful offensive execution in the first half."

The second half was better for the Grizzlies but it was too little too late. They scored an impressive 43 points on the stout Barton defense but the Cougars scored 50 of their own. Barton's largest lead was 25 points with 4:14 to play in the second half.

Deuce Drake finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Butler. Christian Richardson tallied 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks off the bench. AJ Williams and Charles McClennahan Jr. each added 10 points with McClennahan jr. grabbing down eight rebounds and Williams dishing out three assists.

Aside from Malith, the only other Cougar to score in double figures was Lajae Jones who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Cooper Jackson had nine points and four steals.

Each team pulled down 44 rebounds. Barton had 20 assists to Butler's 10 and the Grizzlies coughed the ball up twice as much as Barton, 18-to-9. The Cougars outscored Butler 34-26 in the paint.

Butler returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 10th, as Garden City travels to the Power Plant with tipoff set for 4 p.m.