In the battle of unbeaten teams atop the early conference standings, the Barton Community College men's basketball team came out on top Saturday night in Arkansas City as the Cougars' 10-0 late run was the difference maker in an 86-79 win at Cowley College. The victory improves Barton to 5-0 in conference play and 9-0 overall while Cowley drops into a three-team 4-1 log jam and 8-1 on the year. The Cougars return to the Barton Gym for their next game coming up on Wednesday in hosting Allen County Community College (1-4, 3-6) in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
Barton jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead getting scoring from four different Cougars in the game's opening two minutes. A 9-0 run by the host Tigers later turned the tide to a 16-14 advantage to the half's midway point. Regaining the lead after the 9:46 media timeout on two Marvin Cannon free throws and the first of three Noah Webster's trio of threes on the night, the Cougars fell victim to another nine straight by the Tigers in looking up to a six point deficit.
Sharp shooting Sam Lorenzen, who had buried a trey in the opening Barton run, buried three consecutive long range bombs in Barton's next possessions in regaining the lead only to have Cowley answer with one of their thirteen on the night.
A five point stretch gave the Tigers a 40-34 lead to the locker room with Lorenzen knocking down his fifth on the opening possession of the final twenty minutes. The game seesawed throughout the second half with momentum swings and big shots as the teams combined for ten lead changes and nine deadlocks.
A Tiger stretch for a six point 72-66 lead with 6:19 to play would be the last time the home team would be in front as Barton would go on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes. Beginning with a three-pointer from reigning conference player of the week Keshon Montague, Lorenzen then canned his seventh of the night before a Montague 13' jumper and Kawanise Wilkins pair of charity tosses put Barton out front 76-72 with 2:55 to play.
Outscoring Barton by nine in second chance points, the Tigers took advantage of another opportunity with a three-ball cutting the margin to just one with 1:26 left. But then it was the Cougars time to capitalize on another chance as Cannon secured an offensive rebound then later knocked down a long two-point baseline jumper for a three point lead with fifty-five clicks left.
Cowley would come up empty on a couple of opportunities while Montague's four charity tosses and Wilkins perfect two throws iced the victory.
Lorenzen's career high twenty-five points led all scorers as the Lansing, Kansas, native dropped 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Cannon and Wilkins each finished with sixteen points each with Wilkins grabbing a team high nine rebounds while tying Montague for the team honor with five assists. Montague also added ten points with Webster scoring nine of the Cougars thirteen bench points on 3-of-7 from long range.
Three players coming off the bench led Cowley's thirty-four point advantage from the second wave effort led by Jeremiah Starks' 4-of-9 shots behind the arc for eighteen and Darnell Cowart's seventeen while St. John native Cole Kinnamon lit up first half action with eleven of his fifteen points. Aaron McGee hauled down ten rebounds to go along with his eight points while Cedric Rembert dished out five assists.
Allen County will be making Wednesday's trip to the Barton Gym riding high following their first conference victory in a 102-95 home win Saturday over Butler Community College. The Devils led by eighteen in second half play but had to hold off a Butler charge and a late controversial call before sinking 11-of-14 from the charity stripe for the victory.
Other Game Notes:
- Barton's win was the seventh straight in the series and third straight in Arkansas City
- Barton leads the overall series 35-11
- Barton shot a season low 44.6% from the field but a season second highest 47.8% from beyond the arc
- Having begun the year making ten or more shots beyond the arc, the Cougars snapped a two game "slide" of reaching the ten made mark in connecting on 11-of-23