COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — No. 15 Coffeyville proved to be too much for the Butler men down the stretch Thursday night, as the Grizzlies faltered late in the second half in a 91-77 road loss at Nellis Hall.
Butler (13-14 overall, 10-13 conference) rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to tie the contest at 55-all with 13:19 to play, but the Red Ravens used a late 22-3 run to pull away for their 12th straight win.
Butler fell behind 20-11 in the first half after Coffeyville (24-4, 20-4) made a 15-4 run before the midway break. The Grizzlies answered back with a 10-0 run, taking a 21-20 lead after Karlon McSpadden hit two foul shots with 7:05 left in the half.
A quick 6-0 Coffeyville run that included two consecutive baskets by Keon Queen put the Ravens back in front. Coffeyville then ended the half on a 12-5 run which led to a 43-31 halftime lead.
Trailing 50-38 with 16:15 remaining, Butler quickly cut the deficit to three points in the span of 80 seconds. After Moore hit 1-of-2 foul shots, Armstrong and Moore hit back-to-back treys. Following a Coffeyville timeout, Moore stole the inbounds pass on the baseline and scored on a lay-in to get the Grizzlies within 50-47 with 14:36 left.
Butler pulled within one less than a minute later on a Karlon McSpadden trey, then after a Coffeyville basket, Armstrong tied the game at 55-55 with a three-pointer at the 13:19 mark.
Coffeyville then flipped the switch, scoring six straight points to move back in front. The Grizzlies would get within three again on two occasions, the latter coming on a Bouchum basket at 63-60 with 10:20 left.
The Ravens then pulled away, limiting Butler to just one field goal over a 7:20 span while making a 22-3 run to put the game out of reach. Queen was the key Raven, scoring 12 of his 16 second-half points during the spurt. The freshman forward led all scorers with 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
With the win, Coffeyville moves into a first-place tie in the Jayhawk Conference standings with Barton, setting up a key matchup Saturday between both teams in Great Bend.
Butler likely loses its chance to host a first-round playoff game with the loss. The Grizzlies, who trail eighth-place Seward County by two games with two league games remaining, will host Neosho County in the home regular-season finale on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.