EL DORADO – Maddy Willis-Rosa hit her first two buckets of the game in replacement of Zayda Perez and the 21st ranked Butler Grizzlies were off and running in their 92-49 win over Allen on Wednesday morning.
The Grizzlies have won five straight and seven of their last eight games as they improve to 14-5 overall and 7-2 in the Jayhawk. The Grizzlies have a full game lead on the rest of the Eastern division.
"We had a three-hour meeting yesterday about who we are as people," Butler head coach Mike Helmer said. "The kids responded really well; super proud of them."
Butler never really let the Lady Devils back into the game, despite the improved play in the second half.
"Our toughness was big today," Helmer said.
The Grizzlies went on a 10-2 run in the first quarter to separate themselves early. Butler forced six turnovers and contested every shot Allen put up. The run reached 14-4 when Jaelynn McLaurian made a layup with 2:48 to go in the first.
The Fighting Helmers would only let Allen score one bucket over the next 11:24 of the game. It was hard-nosed defense and limiting second chance opportunities for the Red Devils.
"Her [Willis-Rosa]stat line if she played more than 12 minutes is dang near a triple-double," Helmer said.
Butler had five players in double figures, with RaVon Nero leading the way with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. She also had eight rebounds and two steals. Willis-Rosa finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three steals in only 12 minutes of action.
The Lady Devils would have a little fight, going on an 11-2 run over the next 6:55 to bring it within 46-27 but it really wasn’t as close as the score seemed. Butler continued to foul, gaining 22 fouls on the night, but the Grizzlies would fight to overcome the over officiating.
Willis-Rose started her first game since Nov. 8 as Perez is out with an injury.
"Getting the start means so much," Willis-Rose said. "It's just an opportunity to get going again."
Butler turned up stepped on the gas after Allen’s run. They would push the lead out to as many as 43 in the fourth quarter.
"Our attitude was amazing," Helmer said.
Brandi Jordan led Allen with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
Butler shot 43.8 percent from the field, including 44.7 percent in the first half.
Butler’s nine made threes are their most made threes this season. It’s the most since they made nine last season against Coffeyville on Feb. 23. They were 9-of-20 on the afternoon, 45 percent.
Allen was able to get the line 25 times, making 56 percent, their leading category of the night.
The 92 points are the most in a Jayhawk Conference game for Butler since scoring 113 against Neosho last season.
The Grizzlies travel to Independence (9-7, 6-3 KJCCC) on Saturday to take on the Pirates. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
"That's a monster game," Helmer said. "It's going to be a big game. They have one of the best post players in the country."