The Butler men could not hold on to a second-half lead over Cowley, falling 80-76 to the Tigers on Tuesday night at the Power Plant.
In a back-and-forth game in which neither team led by more than six points, Butler led 61-57 with 8:15 to play after a rim-rocking slam dunk by Russell Smith. The home crowd was buzzing and Butler seemed to have the momentum.
The Tigers, however, scored five straight to take a lead and never trailed again, hitting a series of key 3-pointers down the stretch to hold off Butler.
The Grizzlies got as close as two points after a Tevin Berry 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining, but Darnell Cowart scored in the paint for Cowley with seven seconds left and the Tigers were able to hold on to the victory.
Butler led the majority of the first half and would lead by as many as five points after a Tevin Berry 3-pointer put Butler up 35-30 with 2:55 left in the half.
Cowley answered with a 10-3 run to take the lead. Butler got a dunk at the buzzer from Sean Ofodile, but still trailed 40-39 at the break.
Equan Ards led Butler with 19 points. Ketarrious Bouchum scored 11 and Russell Smith and Antferene Adams had 10 points apiece. Smith had a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with his 10 points.
Butler is now 4-3 on the season, with a 1-3 mark in Jayhawk Conference games. The Grizzlies will be on the road again this Saturday at Allen County for a 4:00 p.m. contest.