Butler men falter in second half in 79-73 road loss to Iowa Western

Butler men falter in second half in 79-73 road loss to Iowa Western

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The Butler men had a 12-point halftime lead evaporate in a 79-73 road loss at Iowa Western on Tuesday.

Marque English led the Grizzlies (1-1 overall) with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Zach Butler and Javaunte Hawkins scored 12 and 11 points in the loss, respectively.

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.