The Cowley College men’s basketball team led by as many as 11 points in the second half of Wednesday’s home game against Butler Community College and were in front 69-60 with 6:37 remaining before the Grizzlies finished the game on an 18-7 run to win 78-76.
“We have got to have confidence to keep making plays in winning time,” Cowley head coach Tommy DeSalme said.
The loss drops Cowley’s record to 18-11 overall and 10-9 in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division. Butler, winners of two games in a row, improves to 16-12 overall and 9-10 in the conference. The Tigers remain in second place in the Jayhawk East, but are only one game ahead of three teams with one conference game remaining.
On Wednesday, Cowley scored the first nine points of the game and led by as many as 12 points (21-9) in the opening half before Butler rallied to go into halftime with a 37-34 lead.
Butler would score the first five points of the second half to lead by eight (42-34), however Cowley out-scored the Grizzlies 25-6 and led 59-48 following a basket by sophomore Davonte Pack with 12:37 left to play.
The Tigers maintained a nine-point advantage (69-60) before Butler used an 11-0 run to lead 71-69 following a three-pointer by Chiddy Golden with 4:25 remaining.
Trailing by one (77-76), Cowley freshman Dylan Vincent was fouled and sent to the free-throw line for two shots with 5.9 seconds left. Vincent missed both free throws and Cowley was forced to foul Butler’s Immanuel Allen with 4.5 seconds showing on the clock.
Allen made the first free throw, but missed the second. Trailing 78-76, Pack grabbed the rebound of Allen’s missed free throw, raced the ball up court, and fired a three-point attempt from 35-feet out that bounced off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
After making 9-of-19 three-point attempts, Cowley made only 1 of its last 10 attempts from long range.
“We have got to stay true to who we are. We got a little three ball happy after we made a couple of them,” DeSalme said.
Playing through an ankle injury, freshman Julius Nwosu finished with a game-high 24 points. Fellow freshman Deng Bol added 14 points as did sophomore Darius Harrison, while Pack scored all 11 of his points in a two-minute span of the second half.
Vincent added six points, 10 assists and six rebounds in the defeat.
Freshman Immanuel Allen led Butler with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Chiddy Golden and Jon’il Fugett added 15 points apiece.
Cowley will look to snap a three-game home losing skid when they host Independence Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Tigers’ final regular season home game. The Pirates have lost three games in a row to fall to 14-14 overall and 9-10 in the Jayhawk East.
“It will be a playoff type game. We could be the two-seed or the five-seed in the region playoffs,” DeSalme said. “We have got to have short term memory because everything we worked for is right there for us.”
Butler (78): Juwan White 3-7 5-6 13, Jon’il Fugett 5-10 5-6 15, Daviyon Dennis 1-8 0-0 3, Immanuel Allen 8-14 6-9 22, Tyrone Coley 0-0 1-2 1, Chiddy Golden 6-10 1-1 15, Mohamed Fofana 1-6 1-2 3, Jalin Thorne 2-4 2-2 6. Totals: 25-69 21-28 78.
Cowley (76); Deng Bol 5-11 0-0 14, Dylan Vincent 2-5 2-5 6, Julius Nwosu 7-17 8-10 24, Brenden Van Dyke 3-5 0-0 7, Darius Harrison 4-10 6-7 14, Davonte Pack 4-11 0-0 11, Karl Drammeh 0-2 0-0 0, Marquan Shakur 0-2 0-1 0, JayLenn Corbett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-63 16-23 76.
Three-pointers: Butler 5-15 (Golden 2-4, White 2-3, Dennis 1-3, Fugett 0-2, Fofana 0-2, Allen 0-1), Cowley 10-29 (Bol 4-9, Pack 3-7, Nwosu 2-5, Van Dyke 1-2, Vincent 0-3, Harrison 0-2, Shakur 0-1). Rebounds: Butler 37 (Allen 10), Cowley 42 (Harrison 9). Assists: Butler 8 (White, Fugett 3), Cowley 15 (Vincent 10). Turnovers: Butler 10, Cowley 12. Total fouls: Butler 21, Cowley 21. Fouled out: Vincent. Technicals: Butler bench, Pack.