LIBERAL, Kan. – The Butler women earned a win over a top-10 team on the road while snapping an 18-game losing streak at Seward County with a 68-61 win at the Greenhouse on Saturday.
Butler fell behind seventh-ranked Seward 2-0 early on but scored six straight points and would not trail again. A 7-0 Butler run capped by a Katie Palmer bucket gave Butler a 19-11 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half.
The Grizzles would jump ahead by 15 points with three minutes left in the first half before Seward scored five straight to cut the lead to 36-26.
Ashley Gibson scored the final seven points of the first half and Butler went into halftime leading 43-26.
Butler got the first bucket of the second half and had its biggest lead at 45-26 with 19 minutes to go. Seward would start to chip away at Butler's lead, getting within seven points before Gibson scored four straight to make it a 55-44 game with 9:30 to play. Seward would make a late push, getting within five points at 64-59 with a minute to go.
The win is the first for Butler at Liberal since the 1995 season, a span of 18 games. The win over a top-10 team is the first under head coach Mike Helmer. His previous best win over a ranked team was a win over No. 11 Garden City in 2013.
Butler was led by Ashley Gibson who scored 25 points, while Katie Palmer scored 13 and Jurnee Reid had 10 points.
The Grizzlies are now 22-6 on the season and are 12-3 in the Jayhawk West. The Grizzlies are in position to tie for second in the league as Seward falls to 25-3 overall and 13-2 in the conference. Seward is on the road Wednesday at No. 1 Hutchinson. If the Saints fall and Butler beats Dodge City, the two teams would finish tied for second at 13-3 and a coin flip would determine the second seed in the upcoming Region VI playoffs.