Conference race tightens with Butler loss at Barton

Conference race tightens with Butler loss at Barton

GREAT BEND, Kan. – The Jayhawk West standings are now a little tighter at the top after first-place Butler drops an 86-78 decision on the road at second-place Barton on Monday at the Kirkman Center.

Sixth-ranked Butler, which is 23-2 overall, is still leading the conference at 9-2, but Barton (21-5) is within a half-game at 9-3 in the league standings.

On Wednesday, Butler will host Colby while Barton will go on the road to play No. 17 Hutchinson.

Butler fell behind 11-4 early on and trailed 24-11 after a 3-pointer with Kenny Enoch with 10:15 left in the first period. The Grizzlies went on a 20-4 run, taking a 31-28 lead after a 3-pointer by Derrick Byrd with 3:48 to go in the half.

That would be the only 3-pointer Butler would make in the game as the Grizzlies finished 1-21 from beyond the arc. Barton would score the final three points of the half and led 36-33 at the break.

Butler never was able to take the lead in the second half. The Grizzlies did get within two at 51-49 with 12:36 to go, but Barton built its lead to 79-63 with 4:25 to go.

The Grizzlies scored 11 straight over the next three minutes, getting as close as 79-74 with 1:13 to play, but could get no closer.

Jacolby Harris led Butler with 21 points, going 13-14 at the free throw line. Lamar Wofford had 15 points, while Chris Howell had 11 and Kyle Steward had 10. Barton's Kenny Enoch led all scorers with 28 points.