Butler advances to Region VI semis with 115-102 win over Pratt

Butler advances to Region VI semis with 115-102 win over Pratt

PARK CITY, Kan. - Grizzly freshman Ketarrious Bouchum scored a career-high 33 points as the Butler men defeated Pratt 115-102 in Region VI quarterfinal action Sunday at Hartman Arena.

Bouchum was key down the stretch for Butler (19-12), as he hit 14 of 22 from the field. He was one of five players scoring in double figures for the Grizzlies, who will face No. 2 Hutchinson in Tuesday's semifinal round at 7:00 p.m.

"He's just been great the last three or four games," Butler head coach Bryan Miller said of Bouchum. "You can't come into this league as a freshman and just dominate right away, but he's starting to play his game and he's playing with confidence. The sky's the limit for him."

Along with Bouchum, Jacolby Harris finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, while LaJuan Hardy added 16 points and six assists. Will Adler scored 16 and Karlon McSpadden had 12 points, hitting a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range.

The high-scoring affair had Pratt leading by as many as eight in the first half, as the Beavers had consecutive field goals from Dominique Bell to take a 45-37 lead with 5:25 before the break. Butler battled back to a 53-53 halftime tie with a slam dunk by Bouchum before the buzzer.

Both teams kept the frantic offensive pace in the second half, staying no more than four points of each other for the first 10 minutes. With the game tied at 76-76, McSpadden put Butler in front with a three-pointer with 9:53 to play.

McSpadden's trey started a 21-7 Butler run over the next 4:41, with Bouchum scoring eight points during the span. McSpadden added his final three of the game at the 3:52 mark to give the Grizzlies their largest lead of the game at 103-88.

Butler hit 54.2 percent (45 of 83) from the field, which was helped by a 61 percent clip (25 of 41) in the second half. The Grizzlies also made 11 of 23 from three-point range.

Devon Andrews scored 25 points for Pratt (11-20), which finished with 49.4 percent (41 of 83) from the field and made 6 of 18 three-pointers.

The victory moved Butler into the Region VI final four for the third straight year and sets up the second semifinal meeting against Hutchinson in that time. The Blue Dragons (30-1) defeated Independence 78-54 in Sunday's quarterfinals.

"It's the biggest rivalry in the Jayhawk," Miller said. "It's the one we want. We've got to play a full 40 minutes, take care of the basketball and get great shots."

NOTES: Butler has now scored 100 or more points in seven games this season... The Grizzlies matched their longest winning streak of the season with five consecutive wins. Butler has averaged 100.2 points per game during the streak.