Butler opens Elite 8 Tournament with loss to Iowa Western

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. – Iowa Western snapped a three-game losing streak to Butler with an 83-71 win over the Grizzlies in the first round of the Elite 8 Tournament at Nellis Hall on Thursday.

Butler had led 22-21 midway through the first half, but trailed 40-34 at the intermission. Iowa Western used a surge midway through the second half to build a double-digit lead that Butler could not reduce.

Butler was led in scoring by Justin Simmons, who had one of the best offensive performances of any Grizzly under head coach Mike Bargen by scoring 36 points. He was 14-18 shooting from the floor and 8-11 from the free throw line. As a team, Butler shot 44 percent from the floor, but allowed Iowa Western to shoot 55 percent.

With the loss, Butler drops into the consolation bracket, where the Grizzlies will face Moberly (Mo.) on Friday.  Butler is 5-7 on the season