First Half Dooms Grizzlies in Final Regular Season Contest

First Half Dooms Grizzlies in Final Regular Season Contest

EL DORADO, Kan. – The No. 24 Butler Grizzlies were doubled up in the first half by the Cowley Tigers on Wednesday evening and ultimately fell 81-65 at the Power Plant.

Butler (22-8, 17-7 KJCCC) was outscored 40-20 in the first half by No. 11 Cowley (26-4, 21-3) and it was too much to overcome in the second half. The Tigers swept the season series from the Grizzlies after Butler did the same to Cowley a season ago.

The Grizzlies lost their second straight game at Cloud on Saturday and it was the first time they lost two straight games this season. This game served as Butler's third straight loss, the first time they have lost three straight in head coach Kyle Fisher's tenure.

Cowley's Jeff Nwankwo scored 23 first half points, shooting 9-12 and 5-6 from three as Cowley built up their lead. Nwankwo ended the night with a career-high 37 points on 15-23 shooting.

Cowley built up a 27-point lead at the 14:34 mark of the second half, their largest lead of the game.

Butler battled back, cutting the lead to nine points at the 8:36 mark, 57-48, as Kaleb Washington was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throws.

The Tigers turned Butler away once again, building their lead back out to 19 points at different points down the stretch of the second half. The Grizzlies did outscore Cowley 45-41 in the second half.

Washington led Butler with 19 points and nine rebounds. Jaquez Thornton finished with nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Khalil Arnold added 12 points off the bench on 5-8 shooting.

The Grizzlies turned the ball over 19 times to Cowley's 12 with the Tigers scoring 21 points off turnovers to Butler's 11.