Wallace leads No. 14 Grizzlies Past Cloud County

Wallace leads No. 14 Grizzlies Past Cloud County

EL DORADO, Kan. – Butler women's basketball picked up its first home win of 2024 as the No. 14-ranked Grizzlies sailed by the Cloud County T-Birds, 82-58, at the Power Plant on Wednesday night.

Butler (15-2, 9-2 KJCCC) won its second straight contest and snapped a two-game home losing streak. Cloud County (10-6, 6-5) had a four-game win streak snapped.

The Grizzlies were led by Freddie Wallace who posted a career-high 32 points to go with 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

"She (Wallace) came in locked in and ready to go," said head coach Mike Helmer. "She's a beast and I am so proud of the person she has become this year, she has really become a leader."

The first quarter was close from the onset. Cloud County took a 9-8 lead as Josephine Igherighe made a layup. Igherighe led the T-Birds with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the game. Butler ripped off a 10-0 run to take a 18-9 lead as Wallace, Maycee James and Dayuna Colvin all scored in the stretch. Butler took a 20-11 lead into the second quarter.

The second quarter was where the Grizzlies pulled away. The T-Birds scored two of the first three buckets to make it 22-15 but the Grizzlies offense kicked into high gear following that. Brittanie Brickhouse converted back-to-back layups to make it 26-17 with 7:42 remaining in the quarter. Butler then outscored Cloud 18-6 over the next six minutes and took a 21-point lead at 44-23 with 1:22 to halftime. Igherighe did make two layups in the final minute for Cloud to cut into the deficit, but Butler still led 44-27 at half.

Cloud County cut into the Grizzlies lead in the third quarter, turning the 17-point deficit into single digits as Igherighe made two free throws with 32 seconds in the quarter. Wallace converted a layup with 16 seconds left and the Grizzlies led 60-50 at the end of the third. The T-Birds outscored Butler 23-26 in the quarter.

Butler squashed out and T-Bird momentum early in the fourth quarter, scoring the first 10 points to lead 70-50 just three minutes in. The Grizzlies withstood Cloud down the stretch, earning the 82-58 victory.

"I thought we played really well in the first, second and fourth quarters," said Helmer. "I did not like how we played in the third quarter and that is where we need to become more consistent. If we can correct that we will be really good."

Colvin had 15 points and four rebounds, Brickhouse snatched 13 rebounds to go with eight points and Randi Harding dished out a team-high six assists and had five rebounds.

"When she (Colvin) is playing well, we are really good," said Helmer.

Maimouna Sissoko was the other T-Bird in double digits as she had 16 points and nine rebounds. Butler held the T-Birds to 30.4% shooting and 21.1% from three (4-19). The Grizzlies shot 41.6% from the field and 3-13 (23.1%) from three. Cloud County outrebounded Butler 54-42 but Butler scored 54 of its points in the paint ton the T-Birds 30. Butler forced 21 turnovers and had 15 themselves.

Butler travels to Arkansas City on Sunday to take on the Cowley Tigers at 1 p.m. from W.S. Scott Auditorium.