The second seeded Barton Community College men's basketball team had its hands full Thursday night at the Barton Gym in first round playoff action until a 10-0 run with 3:30 remaining left Seward County Community College in the dust of a 76-62 score. Ending the Saints season at 9-23, Barton improves to 24-7 and more importantly advances to Sunday's quarterfinals of the Region VI Tournament at Park City's Hartman Arena. Waiting for the Cougars in the 7:00 p.m. game is seventh seeded 17-14 Cowley College who advanced with an impressive 92-50 victory over Northwest Kansas Technical College.
Malik Toppin led four players in double-figures with seventeen points with Anthony Smith adding fifteen as the duo slammed down Barton's final four points on emphatic game clinchers on either side of the one minute remaining mark. Smith also hauled down a game high ten rebounds to post his eighth double-double of his sophomore campaign while Toppin swatted away four Saints shots. Jahlil Rawley knocked down 2-of-3 from beyond the arc finishing with twelve points while tying a career high ten assists to record the freshman's first collegiate double-double to go along with a team high three steals. Ezekiel Charles rounded out the double digit scorers with ten points and dishing out five assists while Malik Rhodes' 8-of-8 from the charity stipe joined Charles Norman in finishing with eight points each.
Five Saints players reached double figures with Malik Brown's 3-of-7 from beyond arc leading the way with fifteen points. Scoring all his points in first half action, Martavious Wilson was next with fourteen while Tre Kidd's two three-pointers off the bench finished with twelve points. Pierre Johnson led the team with eight assists to go along with eleven points while Charles Beauregard's three steals led the squad while contributing ten points to reach the 1000 point club in Seward County history.