ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. — Behind a season-high 11 three-pointers, the Butler women knocked off No. 15 Cowley by a 95-82 score Saturday at W.S. Scott Auditorum.
Ericka Mattingly and Kyla Callins each scored 21 points for Butler (14-6 overall, 11-6 conference), who have now won eight of its last nine games. Mattingly hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and pulled down eight rebounds, while Callins made 9-of-12 from the field and had eight boards.
Cowley (18-3 overall, 14-3 conference) had a six-game winning streak snapped and fell into a three-way tie for second place behind league leader Seward County. Cowley and Seward entered Saturday tied for first atop the Jayhawk Conference standings. Meanwhile, Butler sits alone in fifth place, three games back of Cowley, Hutchinson and Independence with nine league games reamining.
Butler took a 22-11 lead after the first quarter behind the combo of Callins and Mattingly. The Grizzlies trailed 5-0 before Callins scored seven straight points to give Butler the lead. After Callins’ mid-range jumper at the 6:12 mark put Butler up 7-5, the Grizzlies never trailed again.
Mattingly then hit three treys in the quarter – including two from the left wing on consecutive possessions with under a minute left in the quarter. She then drilled a trey from the near corner to open the second quarter, giving Butler a 25-11 lead.
Later in the second quarter, HaLee Roland made back-to-back treys to put the Grizzlies up 34-18 with 3:02 before the break, giving Butler its largest lead of the half.
Cowley would end the first half on a 14-4 run to pull within six, 38-32, at the break.
Up 51-44 in the third, Butler made a quick 7-0 run on a Taylor Birch three-pointer and baskets from Raegan Sanchez and Jaiden Easter. Birch scored all of her 11 points and hit three treys in the third quarter, as Butler took a 63-49 into the final quarter.
Cowley would eventually cut Butler’s lead down to eight, 67-59, with 6:45 to play, but a 9-0 Grizzly run in the span of 81 seconds pushed the margin back to 17. Jalise Smallwood, who scored 16 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter, made 4-of-4 foul shots and hit a three-pointer during the run.
Butler would hit 11-of-14 free throws in the final three minutes for the victory.
The Grizzlies shot 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the field and connected on 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from three-point land. Cowley made 43.3 percent (29-of-67) for the game and hit 32.1 (9-of-28) beyond the perimeter. Butler also dominated Cowley on the boards with a 43-24 rebound margin. Sanchez led Butler with 10 rebounds.
Butler returns home Wednesday to face Allen County. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. from the Power Plant.
NOTES: The 95 points scored by Butler is the highest mark in conference play by the Grizzlies… For the first time this season, Butler had two players score 20 points or more. The last time the Grizzlies had two players reach 20+ points came in a 77-70 win over Coffeyville on Feb. 22 last year (DakotaVann, 21; Raven Prince, 20).