Liberal, Kansas – After a tough stretch over the past week, the Seward County Saints men’s basketball team faced off against their second straight nationally ranked opponent in the #22 Butler Grizzlies where despite matching them point for point in the second half, the Saints were unable to climb back from a 17-point deficit at halftime as they fell 78-61.

A quick couple of scores from the opposing Grizzlies put Seward County behind in the opening minutes of the game but a fastbreak steal and score by Blessin Kimble combined with back-to-back threes from Ryle Riddlespurger gave the Saints a three-point lead 8-5 five minutes in. Butler countered SCCC’s 8-0 run with a 20-0 run of their own to retake the lead 15-8 going into the under 12:00 media timeout and the Saints were never able to recover. A big man slam from Nathan Jones helped give a small spark for the green and white while a triple from Carson Bennett put SCCC over the twenty-point mark 33-20. A drive down the lane for Amir Whitlock added on another two points for the Saints as they entered the break trailing 41-24 against the Grizzlies.

The Saints were able to match Butler throughout the second half point-for-point as Riddlespurger was able to show off his passing ability with a dime to Jones on an alley-oop layup that brought the score to 47-28 heading into the first media timeout of the second half. Jaden Martin continued his contribution for the green and white from the past few games as he pinned the rock against the backboard on a Grizzlies dunk attempt which was scavenged up by Olaniyi who found a wide open Riddlespurger for his third triple of the night to cut the gap to 53-35. From there the Saints were unable to find a way to get any closer with Butler pushing back in from 65-44 and despite a couple of late scores from Mathias M’Madi, Seward County fell in their third straight game 78-61 to the #22 team in the NJCAA.

Kimble led the way for the Saints with 12 points and 9 rebounds for a near double-double while Riddlespurger connected on four triples to tally up 12 points of his own. M’Madi also reached double figures with 10 points on the night to help lift the Saints up towards the end of the contest.

SCCC now falls to a 6-15 overall record in the 2023-24 season while also falling to a 4-11 record in KJCCC action. They will now turn around and head back out on the road to face the Mavericks of NW Kansas Tech this Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 PM to kick off the month of February.  The game airs on 107.5.