Big runs propel Grizzlies past T-Birds, 80-64
Two big runs in the second half propelled the Butler Community College Grizzlies to an 80-64 Jayhawk Conference East Division win over the Cloud County Thunderbirds Thursday night in Bryant Gymnasium.
Trailing 41-37 early in the second half, Butler put together a 22-7 spurt to go up 59-48.
Cloud County battled back to within three points, 59-56.
The Grizzlies then outscored the T-Birds 15-4 over the next four minutes to put the game out of reach, 74-60.
Cloud County falls to 12-13 overall and 6-9 in conference play with the loss.
The T-Birds were without head coach Jordan Altman, who was serving a one game suspension, and sophomores Jacob Shields and Sidy Sissoko.
Alvin Thompson, the leading scorer for Cloud County (16.5) was limited to 11 minutes because of an injury and managed just two points.
“Alvin hadn't practiced the last week or so, and we tried to ease him in a little bit yesterday. I wasn't comfortable enough to put him in the game and run him 25-30 minutes like he usually gets, but those other guys stepped up and made plays. We probably just didn't have enough bench to stay in it late as far as scoring goes,” assistant coach Todd Johnston, who filled in for Altman, said.
Despite connecting on 7 of 15 three-point attempts, the T-Birds trailed Butler 37-36 at halftime.
Cloud County went 4 of 14 from three-point range in the second half.
“We probably weren't getting great shots in the first half, we were just hitting some,” Johnston said, “We talked about it at halftime to not settle for the three-pointers, not settling for one-pass shots, and we took way too many of those. We lacked getting to the rim and to the free throw line, and that hurt us late.”
A basket by Nysir Scott and a three by Brayden Day gave Cloud County a 41-37 lead 1:23 into the second half.
Led by Immanuel Allen, the Grizzlies pumped in 22 points over the next eight minutes.
Butler, 14-10 overall and 7-8 in the East, limited the T-Birds to just seven points during that stretch, and led 59-48 when Mohamed Fofana hit a three.
Allen tossed in 11 points during the run. He finished with 21 points.
Consecutive threes by Adetomi Ayilara and DJ Sims and two free throws by Iyen Enaruna pulled Cloud County within three points, 59-56, with 8:35 remaining in the game.
The Grizzlies got a free throw by Fofana and eight straight points by Kamron Brice to go up 68-56.
Day made one of two free throws but Ayilara hit a three to close the gap to 68-50.
Butler scored the next six points to go up 74-60.
Cloud County would not get closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Scott and Ayilara scored 11 points each for the T-Birds.
Day added 10 points.
Cloud County shot just 34 percent (22 of 65) from the field and made 9 of 13 free throws.
Fofana paced Butler with 22 points.
Brice and Chiddy Golden scored 12 points each.
The Grizzles were 29 of 73 from the field for 40 percent and 17 of 20 from the line for 85 percent. They out rebounded the T-Birds 55-36.
Butler led by as many as six points, 17-11, in the first half.
Cloud County fought back to take a 27-26 lead.
Three straight points by Allen and a basket by Fofana put the Grizzlies back on top, 31-27.
Cloud County reclaimed the lead at 36-35 on three-point basket by Del Cadia.
Golden scored on a drive in the closing seconds of the half to get Butler a 37-36 advantage.
Scoring the first five points of the second half, the T-Birds went up 41-37.
The Grizzlies then took charge of the game.
Cloud County now plays two straight road games, at Coffeyville on Saturday afternoon and at Cowley College on Monday.