IOLA -- Fort Scott Community College's women fell to 0-4 on the season with a 74-62 loss to Butler at Allen County's Citizens Bank Classic here Friday afternoon.
Both teams had problems in nearly every facet of their game in the first half. Butler (4-0) was just able to overcome itself just enough in the first half to pull away a bit while the Greyhounds couldn't really get things going until late in the second half.
"Everything we had in our game plan, we did the opposite of in the first half," Fort Scott head coach Diana Couch said. "There's really not much to say about the first half at all."
As the 'Hounds finally began to get something going on offense in the second half, they were able to trim an 18-point deficit down to 6 in the waning moments.
"We start off every game pretty much in the hole," Couch said. "This one wasn't that bad, 27-20 at the half. The second half was a different story. The first five minutes, they were executing and passing well. I haven't figured out how to put two halves together yet. We'll see what happens"
Fort Scott held a 5-2 lead a little over two minutes into the game but those were the only shots they were able to attempt in the game's first seven minutes. Meanwhile, in that time, they committed 9 turnovers.
Somehow, the Greyhounds overcame their problems and led 11-10 with 9:20 to go when Ashlie Baker made a 3-pointer from the left wing. The teams traded the lead five times in the next three minutes. But Staci Carter's layup with 6:51 to go gave Fort Scott its last lead of the night, 15-14, before Butler went on an 11-0 run.
Jolee Sharp hit a jumper and Brittany Crow hit a 3-pointer to bring the 'Hounds within 25-20 with 1:15 to go. Kiara O'Neal's stickback of a missed free throw boosted Butler's lead to 7 at the half.
Christina Hammer started hot out of the gate in the second half and hit a 2-point and a 3-point shot to bring the Greyhounds within 29-25 with 18:47 remaining. But like in the first half, Fort Scott started having trouble just getting shots away and didn't score another field goal for over four minutes.
Butler's 6' 4" post, Tonya Elliott-Salas, gave Butler its largest lead, 57-39, with 8:04 remaining. Fort Scott scored the next 8, trimming the deficit to 10 on Baker's 3-pointer with 6:20 left.
A key moment may have come with around 4 minutes to go. Hammer shot a 3-pointer that bounded high off the rim then swished in. But one of the officials ruled that the ball touched the shot clock on the way down, which made it a dead ball and gave possession to Butler with a 61-51 lead. The call washed away a wave of enthusiasm from the Greyhound bench.
Paige Franklin scored for Butler to put the Grizzlies up 12. Then Fort Scott made 5 of 6 free throws in the next minute to get within 63-56 with 2:37 to go. The impact of the call that disallowed Hammer's triple was clear at that moment.
Franklin made a pair of free throws and Abby Fawcett scored in transition to make it a 10-point game, 66-56, with to go.
Hammer finished with 21 points as she made 7 of 11 shots from the field, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Sharp added 15 points and Baker had 13 to end the night. Fawcett led Butler with 21 points while Franklin added 14 and Elliott-Salas finished with 10 off the bench.
The 'Hounds finished 21 of 41 from the field for 51 percent and made 9 of 17 three-pointers. But they attempted 31 fewer shots from the field than Butler, which shot 35 percent on 25 of 72.
Fort Scott finished the night with 35 turnovers after committing 23 in the first half alone. Butler turned the ball over just 18 times. The Grizzlies also won the battle of the boards, 43-35.
Sharp also led Fort Scott with 6 rebounds and 4 steals while she and Danielle Wiese each dished 3 assists.
The Greyhounds will face Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa today at 2 p.m. in Iola. The Mavericks went into Friday night's game against Allen County with a 3-0 record with wins against Jayhawk Conference foes Pratt and Cowley.
NOTES -- Former Greyhounds Valencia Kelly and Brittany Demery will be playing for Western Illinois when the Leathernecks travel to play at Kansas State on Nov. 21. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. that day. In January, Western Illinois will play at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in a Summit League game....
FORT SCOTT: Crow 1-3 0-0 3, Sharp 5-9 5-10 15, Singletary 0-1 0-0 0, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0, Wiese 2-8 1-2 5, Mattox 1-2 0-0 2, Carter 2-3 1-2 5, Baker 3-3 5-10 13, Hammer 7-11 1-1 21, Bonaparte 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 21-41 13-25 64.
BUTLER: Key 0-0 0-0 0, Louis 1-3 2-3 4, Franklin 6-8 3-4 15, Egwuagu 3-11 0-2 6, Fawcett 6-17 7-8 21, Dennis 0-0 1-2 1, Tolefree 1-3 0-0 3, Andrews 2-5 0-1 4, Couey 0-1 0-0 0, Watson 0-4 0-0 0, O'Neal 1-4 4-4 6, Miller 0-3 0-0 0, Elliott-Salas 5-10 0-2 10, Sims 0-3 2-2 2. TOTALS: 25-72 19-28 72.
Halftime: Butler, 27-20.
Three-point field goals: Fort Scott 9-17 (Hammer 6-9, Baker 2-2, Crow 1-2, Wiese 0-1, Mattox 0-1, Sharp 0-2), Butler 3-16 (Tolefree 1-1, Fawcett 2-9, Andrews 0-1, Couey 0-1, Louis 0-2, Sims 0-2).
Total fouls: Fort Scott 25, Butler 26. Fouled out: Wiese, Elliott-Salas. Technical fouls: None.
Rebounds: Fort Scott 35 (Sharp 6), Butler 43 (O'Neal 9, Elliott-Salas 9). Assists: Fort Scott 11 (Sharp 3, Wiese 3), Butler 8 (O'Neal 3). Turnovers: Fort Scott 35, Butler 18. Steals: Fort Scott 7 (Sharp 4), Butler 14 (O'Neal 4). Blocked shots: Fort Scott 3 (3 with 1 each), Butler none.