High Scoring 2nd Half Leads Butler Past Garden City

High Scoring 2nd Half Leads Butler Past Garden City

EL DORADO, Kan. – The No. 20 Butler Grizzlies got the best of the Garden City Broncbusters in a high-scoring affair at the Power Plant on Saturday afternoon, coming away with a 10-point, 93-83 win.

Butler (18-5, 13-4 KJCCC) outscored Garden City (15-9, 11-7) 54-41 in the second half after trailing by three at halftime to earn the 10-point win and sweep the regular season (2-0) from the Broncbusters. The 93 points scored was Butler's highest scoring mark in league play this season.

Butler shot 65.5% (19-29) from the field in the second half on their way to scoring a season-high 54 points in a single half in conference play. They shot 55.7% for the game, also a season-high in conference play.

"It was a good performance by us offensively," said head coach Kyle Fisher. "We started to address some of the issues that have cost us on offense like ball movement and execution."

Kaleb Washington and AJ Williams led the way offensively for Butler as they each finished with 21 points. Washington also pulled down eight rebounds while Williams finished with five assists. Williams shot an impressive 9-of-14 from the field including 2-of-3 from deep.

"He (Washington) played hard," Fisher said. "He established his presence around the rim and when you see the ball go through the net early you can get in a rhythm. Some of his baskets in the second half for us were crucial."

Jaquez Thornton finished with seven points and a team-high eight assists while Charles McClennahan Jr. posted a double-double with 18 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to go with a game-high four blocks. The other two Grizzlies in double figures were Deuce Drake with 11 points, six assists and four rebounds and Christian Richardson off the bench with 12 points and eight rebounds.

The first eight minutes of the game were back-and-forth with a Richardson dunk giving the Grizzlies a 13-12 lead with at the 12:00 mark. Deuce Drake made a layup off a nice dish from Richardson in the paint to put Butler ahead 17-14 as the Butler offense picked up steam. McClennahan Jr. made a layup on an assist from Thornton and then on the next possession McClennahan Jr. had a steal of Garden City's Brody Robinson that led to Thornton making a transition layup as Butler led 21-14. Garden City head coach Rusty Elmore was forced to use a timeout with 9:40 to go in the half.

Butler struggled to score for the next three minutes as Garden City went on a 13-4 run to take a 27-23 lead with 6:49 to play as Robinson drained a three. The teams battled the rest of the half but Garden City's Jordan Frazier hit a three with seven seconds to go and was fouled by Thornton, knocking the free throw down as well to put the Broncbusters ahead 42-38. Frazier carried Garden City all night, finishing with a game-high 33 points on 12-24 shooting including 5-10 from distance.

Washington was fouled on the next possession and made one of two free throws and the game went to halftime with the Broncbusters leading 42-39.

Butler held the Broncbusters to 2-12 shooting from deep in the second half after they knocked down seven in the first half alone.

The Grizzlies opened the second half with a 10-1 run to take a 49-43 lead with Williams scoring six of the nine. They never trailed again in the game.

Butler took its biggest lead with 1:32 left in the game as Thornton knocked down a jumper to put Butler ahead by 17 at 92-75.

Robinson added 13 points and a game-high 11 assists. The Grizzlies held him to just 3-10 shooting from distance. Thomas Tut finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Butler now turns its attention to Dodge City as they travel to play the Conquistadors on Wednesday, Feb. 14th, at 7:30 p.m.

"It's always a tough trip out there. It's one of the loudest gyms in the league. They have a dynamic group with a lot of good scorers."