Three takeaway from Butler's 79-74 win over Indy CC

Butler now has won five straight games and are 9-2 on the year.

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Butler's Noah Thomasson (21) is guarded by Independence CC's Mikale Stevenson (10) on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Independence CC. Thomasson finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists in Butler's 79-74 win over Indy CC.

INDEPENDENCE, Kansas—Treylon Payne scored 20 points for the Butler men’s basketball team and helped the Grizzlies win their third consecutive road game, with the 79-74 win over Independence on Saturday. Payne, scored 11 points in the first half on 4 of 7 shooting, including 3 of 3 from deep to lead Butler. 

Pace

Independence dictated the pace throughout the first 13 minute of the game. Then, the Grizzlies found a way to slow it down through their offense. It’s not that they just defended, it was making the right selections and putting their team in the right spots that helped Butler flip a deficit into a halftime advantage. 

“I thought after that timeout things changed; they had what? 25 points,” Butler Head Coach Kyle Fisher said. “We did a good job with our offense and we held them to one three after that.”

Butler controlled the pace in the second half by being patient in the half court setting. Instead of getting into a three-point shootout in what it felt like in the first half, the Grizzlies worked through the offense and found easy layups in the second half. They had seven drive and drop-off layups and/or dunks. 

“They finally change to a zone against us,” Fisher said. “I don’t know what took so long but when they did, they didn’t collapse properly and we were able to get easy baskets.”

It allowed Butler to jump out to as much as 72-59 lead in the second half. 

Treylon Payne

The freshman from Bryant, Arkansas stepped up in a big way. After struggling in the win over Cloud County on Monday, Payne came through big for Butler. He made was three of three from beyond the arc in the first half. 

He hit two big free throws, too. 

“You know, they change their defense and we are on our heels,” Fisher said. “We finally get a foul call and Trey [Payne] nails those free throws.

“That was big time.”

He finished with 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting. What’s the most impressive thing? Zero turnovers. 

It’s the fourth time this season Payne has played with zero turnovers. 

“Hitting a few shots for me helped opening up some driving lanes for me,” Payne said. “That opened up some kick outs for my teammates.”

Oh yeah, Payne had three assists that led to two layups and a three. 

Return of DJ

After missing Monday’s game with an injury, the Grizzlies welcomed back DeeJuan Pruitt, the freshman from Sacramento, California. 

“DJ just makes us better,” Fisher said. “Whether it’s scoring, rebound or blocking shots. We’re better when he’s on the floor.”

Pruitt wasted little time getting back into the action as he finished with eight points on 2 of 2 shooting, pulled down five rebounds and blocked one shots. 

“He does a lot for us by taking up space in the paint,” Payne said. “It’s very good he was back. We seem to play better when he’s back.”

Next up

The Grizzlies get Neosho County on Wednesday, March 3 at the Power Plant. The Grizzlies have won three straight games against the Panthers, dating back to March 2019. Butler hasn’t lost at home to Neosho since the 2015-16 season.

“We are worried about our next game,” Fisher said. “In the later in the season, we’ll worry about the standings or games but for now we’ll worry about the next game in front of us.”

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.