Butler women pull away late in 69-59 win at Cloud County

Butler women pull away late in 69-59 win at Cloud County

CONCORDIA, Kan. - A strong fourth quarter helped the Butler women erase a poor third quarter as the Grizzlies earned a 69-59 road win at Cloud County on Sunday.

Dakota Vann led Butler (9-3 overall, 6-3 conference) with 23 points, matching her high on the season. Vann was a perfect 7 of 7 from the free-throw line and pulled down eight rebounds in the win.

The Grizzlies matched a season-high with 21 steals, which helped on the offensive end as Butler scored 29 points off of 29 Cloud turnovers. 

Butler led by seven at various points in the first quarter, but Cloud scored the final four points of the period, making it a 16-13 game after the first 10 minutes.

The Grizzlies then stretched the lead to double digits for the first time when Nakylia Carter came up with a steal and Kendriana Washington finished the fast break with a layup, putting Butler up 25-15 with 5:50 left in the half.

A HaLee Roland 3-pointer just before halftime put the Grizzlies up 32-20 at the break.

Cloud County owned the third quarter, evaporating Butler's big lead. The Thunderbirds scored the final nine points of the period and led 44-40 going to the fourth.

Butler quickly scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to tie the game 44-44. Moments later, Raven Prince sunk a pair of free throws to put the Grizzlies up 46-45 with 8:32 to play.

The Grizzlies would not trail again. Dakota Vann scored two straight buckets to put Butler up 54-48 with 5:56 to go. Butler eventually pushed the lead back to double digits.

After being outscored 24-8 in the third quarter, Butler outscored Cloud 29-15 in the fourth quarter.

Along with Vann's 23 to lead all scorers, Butler received 13 points from Kyeria Hannah, while Washington and Imari Bell scored 11 apiece off the bench.

Butler finishes the first semester with six wins in its past seven games. The Grizzlies' next game after the holiday break will be at home on Wednesday, Jan. 4 against Pratt.

NOTES: Butler made a season-high 26 free throws. The Grizzlies hit 26 of 31 from the charity stripe, making 83.9 percent - also a season-best mark.