The Barton Community College men's basketball team exploded for fifty-three second half points Wednesday night at the Barton Gym in knocking of No. 25 Garden City Community College 92-70. Leading by two at the intermission, Barton went on a 25-6 run to break open a then six point lead in controlling the latter third of the game. The victory improves the Cougars to 2-0 in the Jayhawk and 6-0 on the young season while Garden City drops to 1-1 in being handed their first loss of the season falling to 5-1. Next up for Barton is a Saturday trip to El Dorado for a 7:30 p.m. tip against Butler Community College.
In a battle of undefeated teams, Charles Norman's four quick points followed by Anthony Smith's layup got the Cougars out to a 6-0 lead. The advantage grew to eight in the following three minutes with Ezekiel Charles and Malik Rhodes jumpers but the Broncbusters clawed its way back to within one by the midpoint.
On his way to a career high performance, Central Connecticut State University transfer Malik Toppin led a five point stretch knocking down his lone trey of the night followed by Charles' jump shot pushing the lead back out to six. Getting outscored 8-2 in the next three minutes to tie things up at 28, Barton responded with a 6-0 run with Charles being joined by Keeshawn Palmer with twin layups and two free throws from John Barbee in grabbing another six point lead with four to play. Back came the Broncbusters owning the next three minutes to grab a one point lead until Devonte Barker's trey and jumper in the final minute gave Barton a 39-37 lead to the halftime break.
A quick four points out of the locker room extended the lead back to six with Garden City only being able to draw within four for its closest deficit the rest of the way coming at the 18:21 mark. The Cougars quickly responded with five from Rhodes and Toppin's tip-in ballooning the advantage to nine in less than two minutes. Grabbing five offensive rebounds in the second half, Toppin's inside play led to a follow-up dunk one minute later with the Cougars on the verge of blowing out the Broncbusters leading by eleven with fourteen to play.
Getting treys from Jamar Gilbert, Naradain James, and Jaymond Kelly, Garden City closed to within six before Rhodes connected with Toppin on an alley-oop dunk igniting the crowd and a 6-0 run concluded by Charles second trey of the night.
Holding the Broncbusters to one field goal for over five minutes, Barton piled up the points in the deciding 21-6 stretch building an 87-64 lead with 4:38 to play. A Victor Dukes inside bucket would stop the Garden City field goal drought twenty seconds later but Toppin again flushed an offensive rebound for the answer. A pair of Charles charity throws gave Barton its largest lead of twenty-five with 2:53 to play as the Cougars would coast home with the twenty-two point victory.
Charles led three Cougars in double figures dropping twenty-two on 9-of-15 from the floor and getting six steals while just missing a double-double with nine boards. Toppin chalked up a career high twenty points snaring six of his eleven rebounds off the offensive glass to post his second double-double of the season while blocking five shots for the second time of the year. Rhodes was close behind with nineteen points going a perfect 6-for-6 from the line and 6-of-11 from the field while tying Norman for the team lead of three assists.
Barton shot over 55% on the night while holding Garden City to just over 34% and fifteen turnovers.
Dukes was the lone Broncbuster in double figures scoring fifteen with Ben Howze coming up shot of double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.