Butler men beat Seward to claim outright conference title

Butler men beat Seward to claim outright conference title

LIBERAL, Kan. – The Butler men are the 2015 Jayhawk West Conference champions, clinching the championship with a 98-79 win on the road at Seward County on Saturday at the Greenhouse.

The win improves Butler to 27-2 on the season and 13-2 in the Jayhawk West. That win, coupled with Barton's loss on Saturday at Pratt, gives Butler the title outright, as the Cougars are now 11-4 in the conference standings. 

It is Butler's first conference title since the 2009-10 season when the Grizzlies won the Jayhawk West and Region VI titles on the way to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.

Butler cruised in its conference-clinching victory over Seward on Saturday. The Grizzlies trailed early, but took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Jacolby Harris that made it 7-5 with 16:02 to play. Butler started to separate as Travis House started hitting 3-pointers. He made three from beyond the arc in a span of 90 seconds as Butler jumped in front 24-11.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 27 in the first half when a Damien Akao 3-pointer made it 51-27 with 2:49 left in the period and the Grizzlies led 56-40 at the break.

Butler's biggest lead came in the second half when the Grizzlies went ahead 71-44 with 15 minutes to go. Seward would chip away at the lead with a 17-4 run that made the score 75-61 with 7:30 left, but that was as close as the Saints would get.

Butler sweeps the season series from Seward for the first time since the 2008-09 season and give Butler three straight wins over Seward dating back to last year.

Travis House led five Butler players in double figures in the game. He had five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, just two shy of his career high of 21 he scored against Kansas State-Salina in November. Chris Howell scored 16, Lamar Wofford had 14 and Kyle Steward and Jacolby Harris had 10 apiece. Seward's Kevin Sims led all scorers with a career-high 33 points.

Butler will finish the regular season with a home game on Wednesday against Dodge City at 7:30 at the Power Plant.