EL DORADO, Kan. – The Butler women led No. 1 Hutchinson at the half, but could not hold off the Blue Dragons in the second half of a 65-46 loss at the Power Plant on Saturday.
The Grizzlies trailed 17-9 with 5:50 left first half, but outscored the Blue Dragons 11-1 to take a 20-18 lead into the locker room at halftime. Butler tied the game on a pair of free throws by Brayden Byrd with 1:24 left in the half and then took the lead for the first time on a pair of free throws by Amari Dennis with 24.2 seconds left in the period.
Hutchinson started the second half on an 7-2 run, but the Grizzlies were able to tie the game 25-25 after a 3-pointer by Jurnee Reid with 16:50 to play.
The Blue Dragons then went on a 10-2 run to take control of the contest. Butler got within six after an Amari Dennis bucket with 10:02 to go made the score 38-32, but that was as close as the Grizzlies would get.
Butler was led in scoring by Amari Dennis with 14 points, her third straight game in double figures and second straight game to lead the team in scoring. Sarah Parker had eight points for the Grizzlies.
Butler is now 17-6 overall and remains in third place in the Jayhawk West at 7-3. Hutchinson remains undefeated at 24-0 and leads the West at 11-0.
The Grizzlies go on the road for a game Monday at Barton. The Cougars defeated Garden City 66-46 on the road on Saturday and just behind Butler in the league standings at 6-5.