Butler women top Tabor 72-27 in home opener to stay undefeated

Butler's Camille Downs dribbles past a Tabor defender in Butler's 72-27 win.

The Butler women stayed undefeated on the season, using another stifling defensive effort to defeat Tabor JV 72-27 in their home opener on Monday at the Power Plant.

Butler (3-0) held an opponent to 30 or fewer points for the second time in three games this season. The Grizzlies are outscoring opponents by an average of 30 points a game so far, with the closest being 15 points in the season opener.

Butler rolled early against Tabor, scoring the first 15 points of the game. Criste'On Waters had the first four points, followed by five straight from Jalise Smallwood. Deztinee Gooden also scored four during that initial burst.

Tabor didn't get its first bucket until 3:39 remained in the first quarter, meaning Butler's defense held the Bluejays scoreless for more than six minutes to start the contest.

Butler led 30-8 after one quarter, but the Grizzlies then went cold offensively. They didn't score their first basket of the second quarter until there was just 1:35 remaining in the half – going nearly eight and a half minutes without a basket. Still, Butler was up 42-18 at the half.

Butler dominated the third quarter, allowing just a single Friends free throw over the 10-minute period. The Grizzlies outscored the Falcons 22-1 and led 64-19 going to the fourth quarter.

Butler's biggest lead was 48 points, that coming with 5:29 left in the game after a Jalise Smallwood layup made the score 71-23. That would be Butler's last basket of the game, as the Grizzlies could only muster a free throw from that point on.

Smallwood was Butler's only player in double figures as she scored a game-high 17 points. Jelesa Gross and Lauryn Snipes scored nine apiece. Awreona Ransom led Butler with eight rebounds. Kyla Callins had three assists and Gross led Butler with four steals.

Butler will puts its undefeated streak on the line on Wednesday when the Grizzlies travel to Hesston for a 6:00 p.m. contest. Butler will then be in Nebraska this weekend for two games in the Pinnacle Bank Classic as they face Iowa Central on Friday and then host Central Nebraska on Saturday.