The Butler Grizzlies men's basketball team split the weekend in Sedalia, MO competing at the State Fair Classic this past Friday and Saturday. They defeated No. 12 ranked Moberly Area 86-80 Friday afternoon and lost to the tournament host RV (receiving votes) State Fair, 68-54 Saturday night.
Butler thrived from behind the arc Friday afternoon connection on 15 of 29 three-point attempts for a 51.7% average using the deep ball to hold off the Greyhounds.
The Grizzlies jumped all over Moberly early in the contest taking a 25-10 lead in the first half. They went on to make nine threes in the first half to Moberly's one to carry a 44-32 lead into the break. The Greyhounds made a late run in the second half, but consistent free throw shooting would keep the Grizzlies in front and eventually claim the victory 86-80 over the Greyhounds.
Juwan White led the way for Butler scoring 22 points off five three-pointers and seven free throws. Grehlon Easter and Javaunte Hawkins both finished the game with 16 points. Easter went 10-11 from the charity stripe while Hawkins knocked down four threes in the game while dishing out four assists. Payton Dickerson was the other Grizzly in double figures with fifteen points and four rebounds.
Although Butler lost the rebound battle 40-28, the Grizzlies forced 18 turnovers in the contest scoring 21 points off Moberly turnovers. Butler shot 49% from the floor, 51.7% from deep and 80.8% from the free throw line.
A 20-point second half was not enough for Butler to hold off the Roadrunner attack as the Grizzlies fell 68-54 Saturday night in Sedalia, MO in their lowest scoring offensive game of the season.
"We just couldn't shoot it very well Saturday," commented assistant coach Daven Vo after Saturday's loss. "We lit the nets up on Friday night but wasn't able to carry that over into the game Saturday."
Butler played a good first half limiting the Roadrunners second chance opportunities and connecting on 36% of their shots while holding State Fair to 35%. Butler would carry a four-point, 34-30 lead into the break.
The basket froze up for Butler in the second half as they managed to shoot just 22% from the floor and 19% from deep while making just three of nine free throws. State Fair out-scored Butler 38-20 in the second half not allowing the Grizzlies second chance opportunities and made their free throws late to win the game 68-54.
Butler relied heavily on their starting five as they got zero points scored off the bench in the contest. Kamron Brice led the way for Butler with 16 points and nine rebounds. Javaunte Hawkins finished with 14 points, three assists and four steals while teammates Juwan White and Grehlon Easter both added 10 points each. Marque English finished the night with four points, five rebounds and five fouls.
Butler, 5-3 overall, will look to seek revenge over Iowa Western on Tuesday at home after an earlier season 79-73 loss on the road in Council Bluffs. They will have their final tune up on Friday hosting Bethany College JV at 7:00pm before starting KJCCC play Tuesday, November 26 on the road at Seward.