Butler men collapse in second half, fall 91-85 to Cloud

Butler men collapse in second half, fall 91-85 to Cloud

The Butler men never could recover after blowing a 10-point second half lead in a 91-85 home loss to Cloud County on Saturday at the Power Plant.

Butler (5-7 overall, 2-7 conference) led 51-41 after a Russell Smith layup with 15:28 remaining in the contest, but Cloud would take the lead just 3:25 after a 16-5 run. Adetomi Ayilara's three-pointer at the 12:03 mark put the T-Birds in front 57-56. 

The Grizzlies would claw back in front by one, 58-57, on a layup by Anthony Bratton with 11:17 to play. However, the one-point lead would be Butler's last.

Cloud's Jerome Kidd Jr. would hit consecutive three-pointers to give the visitors a 65-61 advantage. The Thunderbirds would lead by as many as eight in the game with 1:49 left.

Cloud ended the game by making 6-of-8 charity shots, while Butler could get no closer than three after a Tevin Berry three-pointer with 52 seconds to go.

The win was just the second conference win for the T-Birds (4-8 overall, 2-7 conference), who snapped an six-game losing streak.

Butler led 47-36 at halftime, recovering from an early six-point deficit. Kettarious Bouchum put the Grizzlies in front with consecutive field goals, with the second coming at the 9:16 mark for a 21-19 lead.

Cloud would tie the game back at 27-all before a three-pointer by Jared Armstrong started a 20-9 run in the final 4:44 of the half.

Bouchum led Butler with 20 points and six rebounds, while Armstong scored 14 and Russell Smith added 10 in the loss. The Grizzlies shot just 42 percent (27-of-64) in the contest and outscored Cloud 18-7 in the paint.

However, Cloud shot 58 percent (30-of-52) from the field and made 70 percent (7-of-10) from three-point range. The T-Birds had five players finish in double figures, with Kidd leading the way with 18 points and making 3-for-4 beyond the arc.

Butler will return from the winter break with an 8:00 p.m. road contest at Pratt on Wednesday, Jan. 3.