Outscored by twenty points in the turnover category, the Barton Community College women's basketball team committed twenty-seven giveaways Saturday afternoon at the Barton Gym leading to an 82-64 loss to No. 17 Cowley College. Surrendering the ball twenty-eight times last Tuesday in Liberal, the Lady Cougars struggled with the Lady Tigers' pressure while having no defensive answer for Cowley's Amy O'Neil dropping a historic forty-seven points leading the victory. The third straight loss sends Barton to 2-3 in conference play and 5-4 overall while Cowley improves to 4-1 and 8-1 on the year. Next up for the Lady Cougars is the long road trip to Iola on Wednesday for a 6:00 p.m. tip at Allen County Community College.
The Lady Cougars had two double-double performances on the night being led by Baylee Robinson's seventeen points and twelve rebounds for her third of the season. Going 4-of-9 from beyond the arc, Katrina Roenfeldt scored fourteen while tying Robinson for team high rebound honors with twelve for the Dodge City sophomore's second career double-double performance.
The story of the night was the all-around play and point production of O'Neil. In what left the Lady Cougar faithful shaking their heads, O'Neil's forty-seven points is one of the greatest individual performances by a women's player ever in the Barton Gym breaking Barton Hall of Famer Wendy Okeson's 2000 record of forty-two points. Scoring just two points in the first 12:45 of the game, O'Neil lit up the scoreboard the rest of the contest knocking down 5-of-11 from long range in her 11-of-23 field goal night while sinking 14-of-15 throws from the charity stripe. Tying for the team lead with three assists, O'Neil also had five steals in recording a third of the Lady Tigers' thefts on the night. Kaitlyn Potter joined O'Neil in double digits scoring eleven including a 3-of-6 performance from long range. Sam Schwab led with seven rebounds while Marissa Pope joined O'Neil with three dimes.
Barton exceeded their season average in shooting the ball finishing at 41.4% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc including burying 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. Also outrebounding the Lady Tigers by five including a 14-8 advantage on the offensive glass, Barton could only gain three points in the second chance category to offset the 32-12 point margin on turnovers. The Lady Cougars also held the conference's top scoring team seven points below their average on 45.5% shooting including 35.7% from beyond the arc but couldn't contain O'Neil's 61% shooting from the field.
The contest got off to a great start as Alexus Bryson led the Lady Cougars finding the seam for three layups and dishing on another to Megan Jirak for a fifteen foot jumper for an 8-0 lead. The Lady Tigers finally broke through with Kendra Green layup at the 5:26 mark leading a comeback in cutting the deficit to two in the following minute of play. Potter's back-to-back treys gained Cowley the lead with two minutes of play left before Roenfeldt regained Barton's last lead of the game knocking down the first of her four three-pointers for a 13-12 advantage with 1:29 left. Annemie Espensen struck back with the third of the Lady Tigers' ten long balls on the night giving the Lady Tigers a 15-13 lead after the first ten minutes of play.
A Robinson inside shot closed the gap to two in the first three minutes of the second frame but 6-of-6 free throw shooting from O'Neil capped by a layup led the Lady Tigers on a 8-2 run to open up a nine point lead with just under two minutes before half. Two Micaela Jellison free throws and a late Jirak jumper helped cut the deficit to a seven point margin into halftime.
Getting field goals by Robinson and Regan Unruh, Barton cut the deficit to three just a minute out of the locker room but Cowley responded with the next eleven over the following three minutes pushing the lead out to fourteen. A Robinson hoop-n-harm stopped the bleeding momentarily before O'Neil drained the first of her five three pointers pushing it back to fourteen. Unruh countered for Barton with her own long ball triggering an 8-0 Barton run getting two from Jirak and Roenfeldt canning one of her three second half treys and suddenly Barton had cut the deficit to six with 2:19 to play in the quarter.
Cutting the deficit to four after a Robinson jump shot to begin the final frame, the game turned to O'Neil as the sophomore from Australia went on her own eight point streak with Espensen converting an old fashioned three point play exploding the Cowley lead to fifteen with seven minutes to go. Roenfeldt tried to bring the Lady Cougars back burying a three-pointer but forty seconds later O'Neil drained another long ball. The duo battled again one minute later as Roenfeldt's fourth trey of the night was answered again by O'Neil knocking down her fifth behind the arc in second half action. Following a Barton turnover, O'Neil took it inside the arc getting fouled on a drive to the basket converting the old fashioned three-point play pushing the lead out to eighteen. The Lady Tigers would grow the lead to twenty twice in the remaining 2:33 going on for the eighteen point win.