Lady Pirates’ Comeback Falls Short At #20 Butler

Macie Price (3) guard Butler's Jalisa Smallwood (12) Photo credit: Randy Smith / Butler CC Athletics
Macie Price (3) guard Butler's Jalisa Smallwood (12) Photo credit: Randy Smith / Butler CC Athletics

EL DORADO, Kan. - As a three-game road trip came to an end, the Independence Lady Pirates looked to continue their good fortune against the #20 Butler Grizzlies. The Lady Pirates trailed early by as many as eleven points and gave a great effort in coming back but came up just short falling 65-62.  

The Lady Pirates had three players in double figures led by Brittany Reeves with 14 points Macie Price with 11 points and Kierra Crockett with 10 points. 

In the first quarter, the Grizzlies came out fiery, but the Lady Pirates battled back after buckets from Kierra Crockett, Macie Price and Logan Collyer trailing 20-11 after the opening period. 

The second quarter began with a basket from Brittany Reeves to cut the lead to seven, but a three from Taylor Birch made the score 23-13 just before a layup by Crockett. A jumper by Kyla Callins pushed the lead to twelve, but Crockett answered to make it 25-15 with 6:00 remaining in the first half.  

A 5-1 Butler run controlled by Camille downs pushed the lead to fourteen and a 7-4 run had Independence trailing 34-23 just before a jumper from Victoria Mikkelsen. Free throws from Reeves cut the lead down to seven, but a three by Jalise Smallwood torched the net for the Grizzlies and the Lady Pirates trailed 37-27 going into halftime. 

In the third quarter, Butler found Smallwood downcourt for a bucket and a free throw to go, but Independence's Reeves matched it to keep the lead at ten. Smallwood torched the net again from three-point range, but once again the Lady Pirates matched it this time with a long shot from Jessica Goodluck at the 7:53 mark. 

A bucket from Callins gave Butler a 12-pooint lead and a breakaway layup by Awreona Ransom pushed it to fourteen before a three-pointer by Price. A three-pointer from Fatarah Kinnard made the score 47-39 and free throws by Mikkelsen cut the lead to six just before Price made a long three-point shot to make the score 47-44 at the 3:15 mark. A 5-0 run led by Smallwood and Deztinee Gooden pushed the Butler lead out to eight and a 3-0 run after a quick layup from Ransom made the score 55-44 for the remainder of the period. 

The fourth quarter began with a basket from Reeves cutting the lead to nine and another for the freshman making the score 55-48. The Lady Pirates continued to chip into the lead with a quick layup by Mychaell Gray, but a bank shot from Criste'On Waters made it 57-50 with 6:33 remaining. 

A three-pointer from Gray had Independence within four, but a jumper from Downs pushed the lead to six before a free throw by Crockett. A three-pointer from Goodluck brought Independence within two and a huge shot from Gray gave the Lady Pirates their first lead at 60-59 with 3:00 remaining. 

A floater by Smallwood put Butler back in the lead, but a bucket from Crockett gave Independence the 62-61 advantage with 39 seconds remaining. A bucket from Waters regained the lead for Butler and a free throw from Callins pushed the lead to two. The Grizzlies made one more free throw, but there was no answer this time as the Lady Pirates dropped the hard-fought battle in heartbreaking fashion. 

Independence (8-9, 3-7) returns home January 23 hosting rival, the Coffeyville Red Ravens with tipoff set for 6 pm.