The opening game of the Best Western Angus Inn and Cougar Booster Club Classic in Great Bend, Kan. was a struggle for the Butler women as the Grizzlies dropped the contest against Jayhawk East foe, Independence 79-74. The Grizzlies (8-3) led at the intermission 44-37 but Butler could not overcome fouls, a dose of the turnover bug and the hot shooting of Independence. The Grizzlies, who have entered the contest only averaging 14.3 turnovers per game had 14 in the second half alone, finished with 21 for the game.
Butler dominated the paint scoring 38 points to the Pirates 14, but Independence edged the Grizzlies in free throws attempts (26-to-10) and three point field goals made (9-to-3).
Scoring for Butler was Ashley Gibson who finished with 19 points, Katie Palmer 16 points, Kynadi Johnson 15, Sarah Parker 12, Nia Roberts six, Jurnee Reid four and Brayden Byrd finished with two points.
In the second game of the Thanksgiving classic, Butler came out strong and beat a tough Otero Junior College (Colo.) team 86-64. The Grizzlies (9-3) led 39-30 at the break and again dominated the inside game out-scoring the Rattlers 46-to-10 in the paint and out-rebounding Otero 38-to-24 en route to the victory.
The Grizzly offense was efficient connecting 57.6 percent (34-for-59) from the field, 40.0 percent (4-for-10) from three and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the charity stripe.
Sophomore Ashley Gibson led the way for Butler scoring a game high 24 points, while Wichita product Katie Palmer connected on 3-of-5 from long range on her way to scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Also scoring for the Grizzlies, was Kynadi Johnson with 11, Nia Roberts nine, Sarah Parker six, Jurnee Reid five, and Brayden byrd and Ashlyn McBride finished with four apiece.
Butler improved to 9-3 on the season and play host to Southwestern College JV on Monday Dec. 1, to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule. Tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.