Grizzly freshman forward Tamara Nard scored a team-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting as the Butler women rolled to a 95-47 non-conference home victory over Bethel College JV on Tuesday night at the Power Plant.
With their 22nd consecutive home victory, No. 22 Butler (5-2 overall) had four players score in double. In addition to Nard's 28 points, sophomore forward Dana Johnson nearly recorded a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Guards Camille Downs and Carissa Beck scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Butler set season-high marks in steals (20) and forced turnovers (35), which led to 43 points off of Bethel's mistakes.
Butler trailed only once in the contest as Bethel took an early 2-1 lead just 1:09 into the game, but the Grizzlies quickly jumped in front 19 seconds later on a Jelesa Gross layup. The basket would lead to a 20-1 Grizzly run, as Nard would score all nine of her first-quarter points during the stretch – including three straight field goals.
The Grizzlies led 23-9 after one quarter, but Bethel would hang around courtesy of 8-of-18 3-point shooting in the middle quarters.
Butler pushed the lead to as many as 22 points in the second quarter following a 11-0 run midway through the quarter, then opened the second half with an 8-0 run for a 54-27 lead. Nard hit two foul shots, then the Grizzlies followed with three transition baskets from Nard, Riley Hett and Dana Johnson.
However, Bethel would make a 12-2 run as Sydney Tenant and Lena Driscoll each hit a pair of 3-pointers to cut Butler's lead down to 56-39 with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter.
Butler responded with a 10-0 run, getting baskets from Zayda Perez and Beck to jumpstart the streak, then Nard ended the run with a field goal and two foul shots.
Butler would pull away in the final quarter by outscoring Bethel 29-5, as the Threshers were limited to just 1-of-11 shooting from the field. The Grizzlies ended the game by scoring the final 12 points of the game, with Dana Johnson scoring six of her 16 in the final 3:00 of play.
Butler made 44.2 percent (34-of-77) from the field while holding Bethel to 28.8 percent (13-of-52). The Grizzlies scored 48 points in the paint and outscored Bethel 24-8 at the foul line.
The Grizzlies will host Tabor College JV on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., then finish out non-conference play at home against Northern Oklahoma-Enid next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Butler will open conference play on the road on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at Seward County.
NOTES: Butler improved to 6-0 vs. Bethel College JV under Grizzly head coach Mike Helmer... Nard's 28 points were the most from a Grizzly player since Ashley Gibson scored 39 points on Mar. 4, 2015 in a 59-58 Region VI quarterfinal loss to Independence in Wichita.