EL DORADO – When you’re down, you’re still not out.
Javaunte Hawkins hit a three with 6.5 seconds remaining to give the Butler Grizzlies a 93-90 overtime win over the Allen Red Devils on Wednesday afternoon inside the Power Plant.
The Grizzlies trailed by 13 with 12:21 to go in the second half and it appeared to be down and out of this one. Except, they never quit.
“I didn’t want them to call a time out,” Hawkins said. “I have trust in myself and coaches have trust in me to hit that shot. He gave me some room and I squared up.”
Hawkins, who has averaged only 11.8 points on 33.3 percent shooting over the last six games, scored 23 points. He scored 18 points of those in the second half and overtime.
It would not have been possible without the rebounding of Shawn Hopkins and Marque English. The two combined for 26 rebounds, 15 of those offensive. They also had 17 of those in the second half and overtime. Butler’s comeback was engineered through limiting the Red Devils to one shot possessions and finding turnovers at the right time.
“We don’t win this game without Marque [English] or Shawn [Hopkins],” Butler head coach Kyle Fisher said.
Shawn Hopkins in only his fourth game back from a wrist injury, was stellar for the Grizzlies. His 18 points and 15 rebounds were a large part of why Butler was able to make the comeback charge. 10 of his rebounds were in the second half and overtime. All 18 of his points were in the second half and overtime were as well.
“It’s taken a little time getting back in the flow of the game,” Hopkins said. “I just play hard every day.”
It appeared Butler was going to make that comeback midway through the second half. They cut it to six points but it was like any Butler surge throughout the game, Allen had an answer. Whether it was a three, a steal or just a missed opportunity by Butler, Allen had an answer.
“There were a lot of stoppages in the second half and it seemed like we never had chipped into the lead,” Fisher said. “I kept reminding them to take it one basket at a time.”
Allen’s Trez Hankins drained a three with 1:53 remaining and Butler trailed 75-67. Butler had to push one last time. Their full court press caused trouble for Allen and turnovers started flowing.
The comeback started with Joel Boyce missing two free throws with 50 seconds remaining and the Grizzlies did the smart thing. They didn’t panic and they play it possession-by-possession.
First it was getting to the line numerous times. Butler made 7-of-9 free throws at the end of regulation. They capped it off by going 5-of-6 in overtime.
Hawkins nailed a pull up jumper from the right side, pulling Butler within 79-78 with 21 seconds remaining. After Marque English created another turnover, it was Hawkins who was fouled with 12.6 seconds remaining. He split the free throws, missing the front end of the two.
In overtime, the Grizzlies were in control as they had momentum and Allen never seemed comfortable as Butler got out into transition, creating fluid opportunities through the break.
“We know this is a tough conference,” Hopkins said. “We knew they were a really good team.”
Hopkins layup with 4:04 to go in overtime gave Butler their first lead since the 18:34 mark of the first half, when Butler led 3-2.
After English made two free throws, giving Butler a three-point lead, Hankins hit a three with 30 seconds remaining, setting the state for Hawkins.
That’s when Hawkins cleared out the team, drifted to the rights idze and nailed an open three from the middle of the Butler Grizzlies word logo.
“That’s my kind of shot,” Hawkins said. “Throughout my career I’ve had range. I knew he was way too far off me and it fell.”
Hawkins nailed the three and Allen couldn’t get a clean look, sealing the Butler comeback.
Butler will use this momentum as they’ve won three straight games, as they travel to Independence (15-4, 6-3 KJCCC) on Saturday for a 6 p.m. tip-off.
Butler is now 14-4 on the year and have moved into second place in the East division.
“It’s just one game,” Fisher said. “You’ll always hear me say that. One piece of a larger picture.”
Javaunte Hawkins from Augusta. My goodness. Butler up 93-90 with 6.5s remaining. pic.twitter.com/v4wioTtGPh— Chuck (@ChuckChaneyBCTG) January 15, 2020