Butler Women outlast Indy Pirates to pick up 14th win of the season

Butler Women outlast Indy Pirates to pick up 14th win of the season

Story by Wyatt Ebersole

It was a nail-biter, but the Butler Women's Basketball team survived the upset attempt put on by the Independence Pirates on Saturday in the ICC Fieldhouse in Independence. The win for the Grizzlies moves them to 14-3 overall and 9-3 in Jayhawk Conference. The win is big for the Grizzlies as they now move into a tie for second place in the conference with Barton, who lost to first place Dodge City on Saturday. The Grizzlies and Barton Cougars are tied in second at 9-3 in conference play and are now both 2.5 games behind Dodge City who is 11-1. The loss for Indy leaves them at 9-9 overall and 5-7 in conference play. 

The game started with lots going the Grizzlies way as after a brief back-and-forth the Grizzlies had built a lead of 11 late in the first quarter that ended with the Grizzlies up 19-9 after the first ten minutes. The Grizzlies held a double-digit lead through the first few minutes of the second quarter, but the Pirates mounted a monstrous comeback that saw them sail back to take a 34-33 lead with 2:24 left in the half. The teams would trade out points the rest of the way and despite trailing by as much as 12 in the second quarter, the Indy Pirates held a 39-38 lead at half. 

Out of the break, Independence grew their lead quickly to 46-40 and things seemed to be shifting the Pirates way, but the Grizzlies weren't giving up. The Grizzlies trailed the entire third quarter, but never trailed by more than that initial six and ended the third quarter down by four at 56-52. 

The Grizzlies near immediately pulled the game into a tie for the first time since the second quarter after two buckets from Freddie Wallace. Indy would again go up by four at the 6:30 mark of the fourth, but the Pirates fell cold over the next three minutes and the Grizzlies were able take the lead back at 61-60 after a Jaila Harding layup with 3:37 to play. The Pirates would respond almost immediately with a three-pointer to break their drought and put them up 63-61. After that, the Pirates cannons ran out of ammo, and they didn't score the rest of the game. Jaila Harding found another layup to tie the game, then Kaylee Nero splashed a three to give Butler a 66-63 lead. After Indy missed a tying three, Jaila Harding put in the would-be dagger, a three-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 69-63 lead with 1:52 left. In case the first dagger three wasn't enough, Harding would bury another one 40 seconds later to seal the game for good, and the Grizzlies came away with a 72-63 road win.

The Grizzlies will look to keep up their winning ways on Wednesday when they travel to Colby to battle with the Trojans at 5:30pm. 

NOTES: The Grizzlies avenge their three losses to Independence last season and the teams have split their last six matchups…The Butler Women are 11-12 against Independence since 2011 and 6-5 in the ICC Fieldhouse in that same time…The Grizzlies are 13-1 when Freddie Wallace breaks into double digits this season…Indy's 30 points in the second quarter in the game are the most points the Grizzlies have given up in one quarter this season…After losing three of their last five games of 2022, the Grizzlies have won four straight games to start 2023…