The Butler men used their home court to its full advantage on Saturday night, beating Redlands (Okla.) 88-76 in their home opener.
Playing in the renovated Power Plant for the first time, Butler gradually built a double-digit lead in the first half, saw the lead slip away briefly in the second half and then once again led by double digits as the clock ran out.
The win is the first of the season for Butler (1-3) which had started with road losses at Missouri State-West Plains, State Fair (Mo.) and at Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa under first-year head coach Brian Barone.
On Saturday, Butler scored first on a dunk by Daven Joseph in the opening seconds of the game. Redlands would lead 5-4 early on before Butler got seven points from Ken Perkins as part of a 10-2 run that put the Grizzlies ahead 14-7 with 16 minutes left in the first half.
Redlands would twice get within a point before Butler surged again, eventually taking a 37-27 lead after a Caelan Neal layup with 3:39 left in the half.
Butler led 42-36 at the half as Redlands scored the final four points in the period.
Redlands then outscored Butler 8-1 to start the second half and took a 44-43 lead with 16 minutes to go.
Redlands would not go away easily and the Cougars took the lead once again at 58-57.
Butler would answer with a 21-7 run to put the game away, pushing the lead to 14 when Ken Perkins nailed a 3-pointer from the right baseline to make it 78-65 with 2:33 to go.
Butler now has three straight home games, starting with a 7:30 tipoff Tuesday against Sterling JV.