Halftime lead slips away in Butler's 80-72 loss to Barton

Halftime lead slips away in Butler's 80-72 loss to Barton

The Butler men saw a halftime lead slip away in an 80-72 home loss to league-leading Barton on Wednesday at the Power Plant.

The Grizzlies (8-11 overall, 5-11 conference) led 40-30 at the break, but Barton quickly came back in the second half and held off Butler late for the victory.

Butler jumped out ahead of Barton 7-2 early on after buckets by Ketarrious Bouchum and Jared Armstrong and a 3-pointer by Adrian Moore.

Moore would hit another 3-pointer to give Butler a 12-4 lead with 13:33 left in the first half. Barton would battle back to take a 17-16 lead midway through the period, but the Grizzlies regained the lead and would build upon it.

Butler went up 37-28 after a Russell Smith 3-pointer with 2:05 left in the half and then pushed the lead to 40-30 when Justin Criddle hit a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer at halftime.

Barton (18-2, 14-2) would score the first six points of the second half before Armstrong hit a 3-pointer for Butler to make it 43-36 with 17:15 to play.

Barton would continue to surge, scoring nine straight points to take a 45-43 lead. Butler would tie the game three different times but would never lead again.

The Grizzlies kept the game close, getting within a point after a Karlon McSpadden 3-pointer made it a 69-68 game with 2:38 to go. Barton answered with six straight points, all on layups, and then made six free throws in the final minute to hold off Butler.

Russell Smith scored 17 points and had six rebounds to lead the team in both categories. Karlon McSpadden scored 13 points and Justin Criddle had 11 points off the bench. Barton had more than twice as many rebounds as Butler – outboarding the Grizzlies 45-22.

Butler will try to break a three-game losing streak on Saturday at Cowley. Tipoff from Arkansas City is at 7:30 p.m.