PRATT, Kan. – The Butler women started slowly in the first game of the new year, but eventually got rolling in the second quarter on their way to a 74-42 win over the Pratt Beavers.
The 32-point victory is the most lopsided conference win of the season for Butler (8-5 overall, 5-5 conference), who evened its conference record to .500 and have won two in a row. The Grizzlies’ previous largest margin came in an 87-57 road win at Allen County on Nov. 25.
Both teams struggled to score early, as they played more than three minutes before Pratt hit a 3-pointer to go ahead 3-0. Butler would tie the game 5-5 after a 3-pointer by HaLee Roland with 3:08 left in the first quarter.
Pratt (1-12 overall, 0-10 conference) scored five straight to go up 10-5 for its largest lead of the contest, but Butler answered with a 5-0 run on a bucket by Kyla Callins and a 3-pointer by Ericka Mattingly. Pratt would get a free throw in the final minute of the period and led 11-10 after one quarter.
Butler then dominated the second quarter. Trailing 14-12, the Grizzlies would score 10 straight, with five of those coming on consecutive baskets from Taylor Birch. Butler closed the half on a 21-3 run and took a 33-17 lead at the break.
Butler stretched the lead in the second half, going up by 20 when Kyla Callins scored on a mid-range jump shot for a 48-28 lead with 3:05 left in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies led 57-31 going to the fourth quarter and pushed the lead to 30 after Jalise Smallwood grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it a 70-40 game with 3:05 to play.
Ericka Mattingly scored 17 points to lead Butler, while Kyle Callins added 16. She just missed a double-double, leading Butler with nine rebounds. Pratt had no players in double figures. Channa Parvin and Nya Mach scored eight apiece to lead the Beavers.
The Grizzlies return home on Saturday to take on Coffeyville. Tipoff at the Power Plant is at 5:30 p.m.