Grizzlies Roll to 5th Straight Win, Handle Indy on the Road

Grizzlies Roll to 5th Straight Win, Handle Indy on the Road

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – No. 19-ranked Butler men's basketball earned its fifth straight win with a 106-79 victory over Indy at the ICC Fieldhouse on Saturday.

Butler (22-5, 17-4 KJCCC) scored over 100 points for just the second time this season with the first being a 119-58 win over Kansas Wesleyan's JV squad in the non-conference portion of the season. Indy (1-26, 0-21) lost its 26th consecutive game.

The five-game win streak for Butler is their second highest win streak this season. They won seven straight early in the season from Nov. 7th (Labette) through Nov. 29th (Coffeyville).

Butler shot 57.7% (41-71) from the field, a season-high. They shot 10-19 from distance with the 10 makes being the highest total in conference play.

All five starters for the Grizzlies and seven players overall scored in double figures. Charles McClennahan Jr. led with 18 points and 10 rebounds, his fifth double-double of the season. Kaleb Washingotn and AJ Williams each had 14 points while Jaquez Thornton had a double-double of his own with 11 points and 10 assists to go with five rebounds. Khalil Arnold added 14 points off the bench, shooting 3-5 from deep.

"It was good to see a guy like Khalil Arnold get his jumper going," said head coach Kyle Fisher. "He's maybe our best shooter and he needs to get some more minutes and reps to get his confidence up but hopefully this was some momentum for him."

Indy and Butler battled it out to begin the game with Indy's Keah Paljor making a layup to make it an 11-10 Butler lead at the 14:10 mark. The Grizzlies began to gain some separation down the final five minutes of the half. They took an 11-point lead, 34-23, off a Washington jumper with 5:30 to go in the half and built it from there. Deuce Drake hit a buzzer beater from just inside the midcourt logo to put the Grizzlies ahead 51-33 at halftime.

"That was a big play," said Fisher. "We didn't finish the half well defensively. That shot gave us some life and energy at halftime."

The second half margin was a bit closer with Butler outscoring Indy 55-46, however, the Grizzlies built a 29-point lead at one point, their largest of the game.

Indy's Tyland Holdman finished with a game-high 27 points, shooting 10-16.

"I was disappointed in our defensive effort," said Fisher. "For us to give up almost 80 points to anybody is a disappointment. We were not hooked up on the defensive end especially late in the second half."

"I'm glad we got some work against the zone," Fisher said. "Going into the region tournament we will see a lot of defensive styles so it was good to be able to play against some zone."

Butler returns to action on Wednesday as Pratt travels to the Power Plant for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.