In one of its most dominating victories of the season the Barton Community College men's basketball went on the road Wednesday night snapping a three game losing streak returning home with an 87-61 win at Cloud County Community College. The twenty-six point margin of victory in Concordia was the second largest in the seventy-two game series since Barton's fifty-three point win back in the 1999-2000 season. The much needed halt to the recent skid improves Barton to 7-4 in conference play and 15-7 overall while Cloud County falls to 1-10 in the Jayhawk and 8-14 on the season. The Cougars will have short time to feel good as the next two home games bring in traditional Jayhawk Conference powers Hutchinson Community College and Coffeyville Community College. The No. 15 ranked Blue Dragons come in for Saturday's Homecoming and Pink Out Night while two days later the Ravens visit the Barton Gym. Tip-off times for both contests slated for 7:30 p.m.
Erasing an early two-point deficit, a 9-0 run by the Cougars in the first five minutes established the early seven point lead. The T-birds crept back to within two until a 9-2 stretch including five straight ballooned the lead out to nine with 7:18 to play in first half action.
Deon Lyle came off the bench keeping the T-birds within range burying a trio of three-pointers until a defensive adjustment by the Cougars snuffed out the spark. With Ezekiel Charles assigned to limit Lyle, Barton got its own spark off the bench from Malik McMillan spurring an 11-5 stretch closing out the remaining four minutes of the half. Having knocked down only his second trey of the season giving Barton an early 5-4 lead erasing the T-birds' last lead of the game, McMillan buried his second of the half in the final two minutes as the freshman from Washington, D.C. led the Cougars' first half scoring with a career high eleven points which also included a ball fake and drive to the hoop beating the first half buzzer for a 41-27 halftime lead.
Barton put the T-birds away in the first seven minutes of the second half including a 13-3 run within a span of three minutes. Derek Dorn began the fun draining a trey in front of the Barton bench, Tyrone Acuff followed with a spinning move in the lane, Jordan Windholz found his mark from long range, and Acuff continued his strong performance night with an 8' jump hook as Barton was blowing out the home squad 60-37 with 13:22 remaining.
Cloud County cut the lead to eighteen as Lyle knocked down his fourth trey of the night coming out of the timeout leading a 7-2 spurt but it was as close as the T-birds would come for the remaining eleven plus minutes.
Putting the pedal to the metal for the next five minutes Barton's 10-0 run not only included the offensive production but defensive plays. Dorn, who earlier forced a ten-second count, came up with another highlighted defensive effort crashing into the bench saving a steal leading to a transition bucket and a Barton twenty-eight point lead.
The lead reached as high as thirty-one at 80-49 before cruising the remaining six minutes settling for the twenty-six point victory, the largest in Concordia since the twenty-four point victory in the '98 season.
Nine of the ten Cougars who played reached the scoring column with four reaching double-figures. Dequandre Dentmond's 7-of-9 from the field aided by a perfect 10-of-10 from the stripe led the Cougars with career tying twenty-four points in only eighteen minutes of court time. Acuff came off the bench to reach double figures for the first time since November 24th with a 7-of-10 field effort finishing at fourteen points. Anthony Smith scored twelve while McMillan's career high first half finished with eleven. Barton had a nine rebound advantage led by Charles' eight while Dorn, John Barbee, Charles, and Windholz each distributed three assists.
Lyle's sharp-shooting 4-of7 behind the arc led the T-birds with twelve while fellow bench mate Duby Maduegbunam added eleven as did Devonte Dixon. Henry Cornelious matched game high rebound honors with eight while the conference's second leading assist man Aamahne Santos dished out a game high eight.