Late free throws lift Butler men over Neosho, 66-64

Late free throws lift Butler men over Neosho, 66-64

The Butler men got two free throws with .6 seconds left to defeat visiting Neosho 66-64 on Tuesday night at the Power Plant and stay undefeated on the season.

With the game tied 64-64, Neosho had the ball out of a timeout with 28 seconds to play. The Panthers got off a shot with five seconds left but missed. Derrick Byrd came down with the rebound and passed off to Jacolby Harris, who drove to the basket but was fouled taking the ball up on the right block.

Harris hit both free throws, giving the Grizzlies the victory. It sealed a wild game in which Butler trailed just once, but never led by more than eight points.  Noesho scored the first basket of the game, but the Grizzlies would take a 12-5 lead after a pair of free throws by Travis House with 12:24 to play.

Neosho would get within a point at 14-13, but the Grizzlies surged back in front, taking a 29-21 lead after a Derrick Byrd layup with 5:00 left in the half.

Neosho would once again cut Butler's lead to a single point at 31-30. Jacolby Harris scored the final four points of the half, both times coming up with a steal and scoring a layup – the second coming just before the halftime buzzer.

The Panthers scored the first five points of the second half to tie the game 35-35 before a Lamar Wofford dunk put the Grizzlies back in front. The lead fluctuated between two and five points for most of the second half.

Butler led 61-56 after a Caelan Neal layup with 5:40 to play, but would not get another basket for more than four minutes. In that span, Neosho tied the game before Robert Joiner hit a 3-pointer with 1:31 to play that put the Grizzlies back in front 64-61.

Neosho tied the game with a 3-pointer by Tim Billingsley with 58 seconds to play. The Grizzlies missed two free throws with 31 seconds to play, setting the stage for Neosho's miss and Harris' game-winning free throws. 

Kyle Steward led Butler with 14 points while Jacolby Harris had 11. Robert Joiner and Lamar Wofford had nine apiece and Damien Akao added seven.

Butler is now 5-0 and will play Saturday at Independence at 7 p.m.