Story by Kalon Fullerton
The Butler Grizzlies started 2023 off with a bang as they got back to winning ways, surviving a fourth quarter rally en route to a 67-63 victory over Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa at the Power Plant on Thursday.
Four of the Grizzlies' five starters finished with double figures in a balanced scoring night. Butler was led by Randi Harding who finished with 13 points, a career high for the freshman from Mustang, Oklahoma. She was joined by Freddie Wallace, who finished with 10 points, finishing with double digits for the twelfth game, and Jaila Harding and J'unti Franklin who each had 10. Syncere Harrod joined the scoring party off the bench, also with 10. Harding also led the team with 12 rebounds, earning her first double double of the year.
The Grizzlies shot 30% as a team including sinking five of their 15 three pointers on the night. The Grizzlies earned 32 of their 67 points in the paint as they dominated inside, also adding 13 points off turnovers and 14 second chance points, combining for 22 offensive rebounds. Maycee James was the provider for the Grizzlies tonight as she finished with five assists to lead all Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies held the Mavericks to 30% as a team despite a hot shooting night from outside as Tonkawa finished with 10 three pointers. Butler dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Mavericks, 54-35, and Butler also won the turnover battle, forcing 17 takeaways.
Butler kicks off the new year by improving to 11-3 on the year, defeating Tonkawa for the second time this season, also defeating the Mavs 84-71 in an early season game in Enid, Oklahoma in November. The Grizzlies return to conference action for the first time in nearly a month as they head to Arkansas City to face the Cowley Tigers on Saturday at 1PM.