Grizzly women knock off #17 Northern OK-Enid, 76-69

Grizzly women knock off #17 Northern OK-Enid, 76-69

Grizzly sophomore guard RaVon Nero scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting as the Butler women handed No. 17 Northern Oklahoma-Enid its first loss of the season in Tuesday's 76-69 home win at the Power Plant.

Just eight days after suffering a two-point loss on the road at Enid, Butler got its revenge by recording its first win since 2006 over the Jets (6-1 overall).

Nero scored 12 of Butler's 19 points in the final quarter – including a key jumper just inside the 3-point arc to give the Grizzlies a 62-61 lead with 6:45 remaining and jumpstart a 10-0 Butler run.

Butler (7-3 overall) received 17 points from sophomore guard Camille Downs, who made 3-of-5 3-pointers, pulled down five rebounds and had three assists. Freshman forward Tamara Nard added 14 points and had a team-high six rebounds for the Grizzlies, who shot 51 percent (26-of-51) from the field.

"We improved a lot from the last time we played them," said Butler head coach Mike Helmer. "We still need to be more consistent with our smart plays. We looked much better on both sides of the ball tonight. It was an improvement from the group, so I am really happy with that."

The Grizzlies dominated the first quarter of play while building a 28-14 lead, as Downs scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the opening quarter. Butler opened play with a 7-0 run on two Nard field goals and a Downs 3-pointer.

Butler extended its lead to 20-7 on an 11-1 run, capped by a Nero 3-pointer from the left wing. The Grizzlies' largest margin of the quarter came at 15 points, when Nero assisted on a Nard layup with 1:04 remaining for a 27-12 lead.

Butler led 28-14 after one quarter, then stretched the lead to 18 points with 8:46 remaining in the first half – its largest lead of the contest – when Nero and Nard scored consecutive buckets at t start the second quarter.

Enid used the rest of the second quarter to battle back into the contest, going on a 22-6 run to cut Butler's lead to 38-36 at halftime.

The Jets pulled within one, 40-39, early in the third quarter before Jaelynn McLaurin scored seven straight points – including a 3-pointer from the right wing – to put Butler back up 47-39 with 5:00 left in the quarter.

With 3:08 remaining in the third, Downs hit her third 3-pointer of the night to lift Butler to its biggest margin of the second half at 51-39.

Enid (6-1 overall) took its only lead of the contest in the final quarter, using a 9-3 run to open the fourth for a brief 61-60 lead. Shelby Black hit a 3-pointer in the corner at the 7:01 mark to put the Jets in front, forcing Butler to burn a 30-second timeout to regroup.

The Grizzlies responded with Nero's basket to move in front, starting a 10-0 Butler run. Dana Johnson followed with two foul shots, then after Downs made 1-of-2 free throws, Nard drained another 3-pointer from the right wing. Nero added a bank shot with four minutes remaining to cap the run, giving Butler a 70-61 lead.

Butler would hit 6-of-8 foul shots in the final two minutes to end the game.

Butler won the rebounding battle 31-24 and limited Enid to just 37.7 percent (20-of-53) shooting from the field. The Grizzlies recorded 19 steals, with Downs, Jelesa Gross and Johnson each grabbing four steals to lead Butler.

The Jets fired up 37 attempts from beyond the arc, hitting 14 of them for a 37.8 percent clip. Kaylee Hurst and Tamara Combs each scored 16 points to lead the Jets.

Butler will return to action Tuesday with the Jayhawk Conference opener at No. 5 Seward County. Tipoff from The Greenhouse in Liberal is at 5:00 p.m.