The Butler men started well, but could not hold on to that early momentum in a 87-82 loss on Monday at Colby, despite a career night from sophomore Karlon McSpadden.
It was the final game of the regular season for the Grizzlies (14-15 overall, 12-15 Jayhawk Conference). Butler will be on the road in the first round of the Region VI Tournament, traveling to face Seward County on Thursday. Each team beat the other in the regular season, winning on each other's home floor.
Butler would still lead 27-25 after a Kamari Thornton offensive rebound and stick back with 8:42 left in the half, but Colby would go ahead 31-30 and would not trail again in the ballgame.
Butler was still within two at 41-39 after an Anthony Bratton bucket with 3:02 left in the half, but Colby led 46-41 at halftime.
Colby quickly pushed the lead to double digits in the second half and Butler would not get closer than seven until the final moments of the game, when a late surge got the Grizzlies back within five at the final buzzer.
McSpadden led Butler with a career-best 27 points. His previous best had been 19 points on three different occasions this season. Armstrong scored 21 points for Butler. The two players combined to go 10-13 from 3-point range. Ketarrious Bouchum was the only other Grizzly in double figures with 10 points. He led Butler with seven rebounds.