CONCORDIA, Kan. – The Butler men have tied the second-longest winning streak in program history, winning their 20th straight with a 77-61 road win at Cloud County on Wednesday in Arley Bryant Gymnasium.
The Grizzlies trailed by as many as nine points in the first half and weren't able to take the lead for good until the 10:15 mark in the second half. The Grizzlies used an 18-3 run to take control of the game and outscored the Thunderbirds 30-11 over the final 11 minutes.
Butler, ranked fourth nationally, is now 20-0 on the season and is in first place with a 6-0 record in Jayhawk West Conference, staying one game ahead of Barton, which is 5-1. The winning streak ties the 20 straight wins by the 1993-94 team and is second behind 40 straight wins from 1941-1945.
The Grizzlies led 2-0 early but Cloud eventually built a 29-20 lead with 6:35 to play in the first half. Butler went on a 9-0 run to tie the game including a 3-pointer by Travis House and five straight points from Chris Howell.
The Grizzlies would take a 37-33 lead after an offensive rebound and stickback by Robert Joiner with 2:35 left in the half but would not score again before the break as Cloud scored seven straight and led 40-37 at the intermission.
Cloud continued to lead in the second half before Butler took over the game with a surge midway through the period. After trailing 50-47, Chris Howell scored and then Robert Joiner hit a 3-pointer with 10:15 to play that gave Butler a 52-50 lead.
Lamar Wofford scored twice and Jacolby Harris scored in transition after a steal by Derrick Byrd and Butler led 58-50 to cap an 11-0 run. A Travis House 3-pointer put Butler up by double digits for the first time, leading 63-53 with six minutes to go. The Grizzlies eventually led by as many as 18 points.
Chris Howell led Butler with 16 points, while Kyle Steward had 14 and Lamar Wofford had 12 points.
Butler now returns to its home court for a 4 p.m. tipoff on Saturday against Seward County. The Saints are 3-3 in conference play, 10-9 overall after a win at home against Garden City on Wednesday.