COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The Butler men had a 12-point halftime lead evaporate in a 79-73 road loss at Iowa Western on Tuesday.
Butler led by as many as 17 points in the opening half, as the Grizzlies shot 60 percent (15-of-25) while building a 41-29 halftime lead.
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 10-2 lead to start the contest, as Butler made its first four shots - including treys from English and Kamron Brice.
Up 25-17 midway through the opening half, Butler built its largest lead of 17 points behind a 10-3 run. Hawkins and Juwan White knocked down consecutive three-pointers to open the run, while English added back-to-back layups in a 19-second span for a 37-20 lead with 5:22 before the break.
Iowa Western pulled back into the contest with a 12-0 run to start the second half, cutting Butler's lead to 41-40. The Grizzlies would hold onto the slim lead until the Reivers knotted the game at 50-all on an Alec Spence layup with 13:22 remaining. Spence followed with a three-pointer on Iowa Western's next possession, giving the Reivers their first lead at 53-50 at the 12:24 mark.
The lead would change hands eight times over the next six minutes, with Butler taking its last lead at 62-61 on a White layup with 6:29 left to play, but a Grizzly technical foul on the play allowed the Reivers to tie the game as Josiah Strong hit 1-of-2 free throws. Moments later, Iowa Western's Seneca Lewis put the hosts in front for good with a driving left-handed layup.
Butler would pull within two on an English layup on an offensive rebound with 54.7 seconds to play, but the Grizzlies made just 1-of-4 from the field down the stretch while the Reivers hit of 6-of-8 free throws.
Iowa Western was led in scoring by Caleb Huffman's 24 points, while Mal Pine added 14.
Butler will head up to Hesston for a pair of neutral-site games this weekend, as the Grizzlies face Nation Wide Prep in a 5:00 p.m. contest Friday, then follow up on Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. game against Louisiana Christian Prep. Butler returns home on Tuesday, Nov. 12 with a 7:30 p.m. game against McPherson College JV.