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Lady Cougars' late comeback falls short in season opener #GoBarton

Barton women's basketball player Queen Ulabo pulls up for jump shot

The Barton Community College women's basketball team's bid of a late comeback Saturday evening at the Barton Gym fell just short in dropping the season opener to Redlands Community College 74-72.

The Lady Cougars will look to rebound Wednesday evening against the reserve squad from Sterling College in a 5:30 p.m. tip at the Barton Gym followed by the men taking on Bethel College's reserve squad in the night cap.

Barton came out of the gates on red hot shooting from long distance as freshman newcomers Bryn Willt connected for a pair of treys with Vanessa Oduah dialing up her lone triple in jumping out to an 11-4 lead just three minutes into the contest. The dazzling shooting from outside remained contagious for the Cougars as Tiffany Dortland drained one with Queen Ubaldo ringing up back-to-back triples extending the lead to thirteen with 1:50 to play in the opening frame.

Just two seconds into the second quarter, Dortland rattled in the second of her game high four treys stretching Barton to its largest of fourteen coming at 27-13. A fast moving cold front blew through the Kirkman Center as the Lady Cougars saw sharp declines in shooting percentages and increases in turnovers as Barton scored just nine points on 3-of-17 shooting (17.6 percent) while turning the ball over eight times in the quarter.

Redlands on the other hand caught fire, turning the tide over the next six minutes gaining their first lead of 31-29 with 3:24 to play following a pair of Mariah Jones free throws capping an 18-2 run.

Falling behind by as many as six in the final minute of the half, Kaycee Miller gave Barton some momentum heading to the locker room beating the buzzer in draining Barton's eighth triple of the opening twenty minutes to trim the deficit to 36-33.

Facing an uphill battle of eleven points midway through the third quarter, Barton's offense regained the momentum scoring seven straight keeping things in reach 48-44. Redlands countered in holding off the charge, stretching the gap back to eight at 56-48 heading to the fourth quarter.

The duo of Ulabo and Oduah kept Barton in the thick of things combining for fourteen straight points to open the final frame. Sophomore D'Shonda Hunt capped Barton's 7-0 run completing the old fashion three-point play knotting things up at 63 with 4:05 remaining. The Lady Cougars were held from getting over the hump, managing to tie things up two more times before Redland's Reneya Hopkins converted 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final twenty seconds putting a damper in any Barton comeback attempt.

Redshirt freshman Queen Ulabo dialed up 21 points and 11 rebounds recording a double-double performance in her collegiate debut. Dortland and Oduah each made their freshman debuts noticed, finishing in double-digit scoring as Dortland led the bench production with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting with Oduah tacking on twelve to go along with a team high three assists.

Redlands was led by Reneya Hopkins' game high 23 points as three other Cougars finished in double-figure scoring with Mariah Jones' 3-of-5 from behind the arc for fifteen points off the bench followed by Karyssa Jackson and Christina Jenkins adding twelve and eleven respectively.