The Barton Community College men's basketball team shook off a slow start Tuesday night at the Barton Gym in coming away with a hard fought 75-70 victory over Seward County Community College. The Cougars trailed by eleven midway through the first half but begin second half play on a 12-2 run to flip the tide before holding off the Saints for Barton's third straight win in the series. The victory improves Barton to 4-0 in conference play and 8-0 overall while Seward slips to 1-3 and 5-3 on the year. The Cougars will face the only other unblemished foe in the early conference season on Saturday as Barton travels to Cowley College (4-0, 7-1) for a 7:30 p.m. tip at the William S. Scott Gym in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Seward County got off to a fast start as the Cougars made just one of their first five shots in the opening four minutes with the Saints' 6-0 run building an early eight point lead. The lead grew to eleven at the 11:40 mark behind a seven point stretch capped by Anthony Thomas' trey as the red hot Saints shot nearly 70% while knocking down 4-of-7 behind the arc.
Getting a spark off the bench from Roy Broomfield in hauling down a rebound, dishing out a pinpoint dime through the paint to Kawanise Wilkins, and a steal leading to a Marvin Cannon tip-in, the Cougars cut the deficit to five in the next five minutes. Broomfield and Cannon would also come up with big blocks while the offense started to heat up from behind the arc beginning with Keshon Montague's first of three on the night cutting the deficit to one with 2:29 to play. Sam Lorenzen then buried two more in the next ninety seconds and if not for a Ke'Sean Davis trey with twenty-seven seconds on the clock the teams would have been tied.
The late first half momentum carried into second half play with Elijah Ford sinking 1-of-2 from the charity stripe followed by Montague burying a three giving the Cougars the lead. Another Lorenzen bomb and another Wilkins tip-in concluded the 12-2 stretch giving Barton a seven point lead just four minutes out of the locker room.
Seward County kept hanging around and the Cougars went without a field goal for four minutes while the Saints strung six straight together for a 53-52 lead. Wilkins got the Cougars back on track in knocking down his lone three-pointer of the game but for the next six minutes the teams battled back and forth until a Isiah Small's three-point play suddenly gave Seward County a four point lead with 3:45 to play.
Webster's second triple of the night and a pair of Ford charity tosses regained the lead a moment later. Tied for the final time at 66-all with 2:13 to play, the Cougars forced two turnovers and a missed jumper with Montague's three-point play with forty-one seconds to play built a seven point cushion in the eventual five point victory.
Wilkins led all scorers on the night with twenty-three points on an efficient 8-of-9 from the field and a near perfect 6-of-7 charity throws. Montague's 3-of-4 from beyond the arc led to fifteen points to go along with the Jayhawk's top assist leader dishing out five dimes. Cannon added ten points to go along with sharing team high rebound honors with Wilkins as each hauled down eight boards. Playing an efficient and critical nine minutes in the contest, Broomfield led the team with three steals and swatted away two shots to go along with Cannon's career high rejections.
Small's nineteen points off the bench and nine rebounds led the Saints in scoring which also included 9-of-11 shooting from the charity stripe. Sharp shooting Hegel Augustin buried 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in scoring thirteen while Jordan Mitchell dumped in eleven points off the bench. Davis also had a solid stat line with nine points and seven rebounds with Jamel Horton dishing out a team high four assists.
Like the Cougars, Cowley is off to a great start in conference play having won two at home and two on the road, most recently picking up an 80-76 at Butler Community College on Tuesday night.
Other Game Notes:
- Barton's win was the third straight at the Barton Gym against Seward County in improving the home mark to 35-15
- Having swept the Saints in three meetings last season, Barton has now won four straight in the series as the teams have split the last ten meetings
- Barton leads the overall series 61-40
- Barton's seven blocks was a season high as the Cougars rejected six shots against Colby back on November 11.
- Having begun the year making ten or more shots beyond the arc, the Cougars came up short of the ten made mark for the second game in a row finishing at 9-for-23