Failing to score for nearly the first eight minutes of Wednesday night's game at No. 14-ranked Butler Community College, the No. 19-ranked Cowley College women's basketball team found themselves down by a score of 12-0. The Lady Tigers were unable to mount a comeback and suffered an 82-58 defeat in its conference opener.
Butler, which was playing its first-ever game in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division, led 39-18 at the end of the first half and by as many as 34 points (71-37) in the second half as they won its 16th straight game. The Lady Grizzlies are now 18-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
Te'era Williams, a 5'11" sophomore transfer from Texas Southern, led Butler with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Williams is averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game on the season.
Cowley shot a season-low 29.7 percent from the floor (19-of-64), and were out-rebounded by 16 (48-32). "We did not show up to play and got manhandled by their physical play," Cowley head coach Todd Clark said.
Lady Tiger forwards Kristi Garza and Kourtney Steele came into the contest averaging a combined 15 points per game but were each held to one point.
The Lady Tigers are now 12-5 overall and 0-1 in the Jayhawk East.
Emilie Gronas led Cowley with 12 points, while Jessica Tinnin and Elise Gerlach came off the bench to add 10 points a piece.
The Lady Tigers will be back in action Saturday at 2 p.m. when they play at Allen County. The Lady Red Devils are 7-10 overall and 0-1 in the Jayhawk East following a 65-47 loss to Coffeyville on Wednesday.
Video streaming of Saturday's game can be found at http://www.njcaatv.com/cowleycollege/
Tigers nipped 65-60 in conference opener at Butler
The Butler Grizzlies showed they will be a challenging new addition to the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division as they won its first-ever game as a member of the Jayhawk East with a 65-60 victory over Cowley Wednesday night in El Dorado.
The Grizzlies, who previously were a member of the Jayhawk West, led by as many as 11 points in the first half before heading to the locker room with a 36-26 halftime advantage.
Thanks to nine points from freshman guard Quay King, Cowley opened the second half on a 15-6 run and trailed only 42-41 with 13 minutes remaining. A three-pointer by King would later tie the game at 46-46 with 9:15 left to play, but the Tigers were never able to get over the hump and lead in the game.
Cowley cut Butler's lead to one point on five more occasions, the final time coming at 61-60 after a pair of free throws by sophomore point guard Mike Smith.
Forced to foul, the Tigers fouled Butler's Shomari Triggs with 3.5 seconds left. Triggs hit both free throws to put Butler in front 63-60. With a final chance to force overtime, Cowley got the ball in to Smith, who was whistled for traveling near mid court with 1.8 seconds remaining.
Triggs hit another pair of free throws with less than a second remaining and the Grizzlies escaped with the five-point win.
The victory improves Butler's record to 15-4 overall and 1-0 in the Jayhawk East. The Tigers are now 9-8 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
The Grizzlies had five sophomores play more than 20 minutes in Wednesday's game, while Cowley had only one sophomore (Mike Smith) play at least that many minutes. Considering the inexperience of his squad, Cowley head coach Tommy DeSalme was proud of his team's effort in the defeat.
"We are getting to the point where we are competing and had a chance to win at one of the better and most veteran teams in the league," DeSalme said. "We are very close to being really good."
Triggs finished 14-of-17 from the free-throw line and led Butler with 22 points. Dominique O'Connor and Sean Goodwin added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
King scored Cowley's first eight points and finished with a game-high 27 points and nine rebounds. However, King made only 8-of-24 attempts from the floor.
Saddled with early foul trouble, freshman point guard Earl Bryant played only 11 minutes before fouling out late in the contest. Bryant, who was averaging 17 points per game entering the contest, was held to only four points.
With Bryant, the Tigers primary ball handler, out the majority of the game, Cowley committed 26 turnovers. However, Cowley out-shot Butler 38.3 percent to 33.3 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Grizzlies 36-26.
The Tigers will look to bounce back Saturday when they play at Allen Community College at 4 p.m.. The Red Devils are 12-6 overall and 1-0 in the Jayhawk East following a 79-75 win over Coffeyville on Wednesday. Allen is led by 6'6" freshman Raheem Tyner, who is averaging 14.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
"We have got to find a way to go play a really good Allen team and bring this same effort," DeSalme said.