Some nights you have it and some you don't. Unfortunately for life in the Jayhawk Conference an off-night usually spells trouble as was the case Wednesday night at the Barton Gym as the Barton Community College men's basketball team played catch up all night eventually falling 66-58 to Colby Community College. Losing for only the second time on the Cougars' home court in the series history with Colby, Barton's eight game winning streak versus the Trojans also came to end as did their eleven straight in the series. Atop the Jayhawk standings a week ago, Barton falls into a third place tie at 6-3 and 14-6 while Colby improves to 6-4 and 13-7. The Cougars will look to snap a two-game slide on Saturday as Seward County Community College rolls in for 3:30 p.m. tip-off.
With the Cougars leading 17-11 approaching the mid-point of first half action, Colby began to heat up outscoring Barton 14-2 including eight straight. A large part of the run was the 5-of-7 sharp shooting of Brian Starr scoring seventeen first half points leading the Trojans to a 37-25 halftime lead. Barton struggled shooting the ball all night including a less than 29% first half shooting performance meanwhile the Trojans shot a sizzling 51.7% in building the twelve point lead.
Barton crept back in to the game in the first nine minutes turning up the defensive pressure and chipping away at the deficit. A steal by Anthony Smith and ensuing feed to Dequandre Dentmond ignited the home fans with Dentmond's thunderous dunk finishing off the transition reclaiming the Barton lead. Another defensive stand and a Dentmond 1-of-2 trip to the charity stripe put the Cougars up by two and later an Ezekiel Charles jumper gave Barton a 48-46 at the 9:18 media timeout.
The Trojans struck back with eight straight ending with a Dentmond jumper but it only temporarily halted the momentum as Colby would score five more in the next two minutes to lead 61-56 with 2:50 remaining.
Derek Dorn would draw the Cougars to within three but it was as close as Barton would get for the remaining 1:34 as Ahmed Ismail's shot in the paint twenty seconds later pushed the lead back out to five. With the Cougars unable to convert on the offensive, Colby sealed their first victory on Barton's turf since 2004 making 3-of-6 free throws down the stretch.
Thirteen point nights from Charles and Dorn led four Cougars in double figures. Anthony Smith provided a spark off the bench with eleven while Dentmond finished with ten. Charles led with eight rebounds with Eddie Hunt dished out four of the team's twelve assist on a season low eighteen made baskets for the Cougars.
Doing seventeen of his game high twenty points in first half action, Starr also led the Trojans with six assists while also pulling down seven rebounds. Coming off the bench Bilal Abdur-Rahim and Ahmed Ismail reached double digits with sixteen and eleven points respectively with Abdur-Rahim grabbing eight rebounds to lead the 39-35 board advantage.