Late turnovers cost Grizzlies in top KJCCC matchup Saturday afternoon

Photo courtesy of: Chuck Chaney
Photo courtesy of: Chuck Chaney

The Butler Grizzlies fell at home for the first time all season, as two late free throws would sink the Grizzlies as they dropped a heartbreaker to Independence, 59-58, in a battle of the top two teams in the Jayhawk Conference at the Power Plant on Saturday.

The Grizzlies battled back after giving up a 10-0 run to start the game. It was a contest that featured five ties and eight lead changes. The Grizzlies took a five point deficit into the locker room, and did not lead until the fourth quarter when Kaylee Nero's layup put Butler on top. The Grizzlies grew the lead to seven points in the final frame but Independence scored the final six points of the contest, and the Pirates would escape with the win.

The Grizzlies were led by Sincere Harrod, coming off of the bench to score 13 points. Jaila Harding and MeKayla Furman also reached double figures, each with 10. The Grizzlies got 39 points from their bench, but it wouldn't be enough. The Grizzlies ended up outshooting Independence after the cold start, going 35% from the field, but they couldn't find their shot from behind the arc, making just two threes and shooting 20%. The Grizzlies turned the ball over 26 times and the Pirates converted 27 points off those Butler mistakes. The Grizzlies were also outscored in the paint, finishing with 24 points inside compared to the Pirates' 26.

The Grizzlies were, as usual, stellar defensively. Butler held Independence to 29% from the field and just 21% from beyond the three point stripe. The two teams tied in the rebounding margin, as both teams ended with 35. Kaylee Nero led Butler on the glass, finishing with six boards. 

The loss will drop Butler to 12-4 on the year and 7-4 in Jayhawk play. The Grizzlies will fall to 7-1 at home this season. The Grizzlies will have to bounce back quickly, as they look to snap the two game losing streak when they welcome Colby to the Power Plant on Monday night.