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Barton Men Survive Upset Bid, Win 70-68 over Garden City

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GREAT BEND, Kan. (BartonSports.com) – Mozae Downing-Rivers‘ 8-foot kiss off the window in the waning seconds provided the final difference maker Saturday afternoon at the Barton Gym as the 2nd ranked Barton Community College men’s basketball team survived an upset bid with a 70-68 victory hosting Garden City Community College.

BOX SCORE

The 17th straight victory leaves Barton a mere two games up with three to play in KJCCC action at 20-1 and 26-1 overall as Garden City slides to 13-9 in league and 17-11 on the season.

Focus now shifts to Wednesday’s road trip to Dodge City Community College for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. Barton will then honor its sophomores prior to Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. tip hosting 15th ranked Hutchinson Community College before closing out the regular season Tuesday, March 5th, at Colby Community College.

Keandre Kindell‘s 16 points off the bench on 3-of-7 shooting beyond the arc and 3-of-4 pivotal free three throw drainings led eight Cougars reaching the scoring column.

Myles Thompson added 15 points, grabbing four of his team high 9 rebounds on the offensive glass, and forced a late game Garden City player control foul as the Cougars held a plus-9 turnover advantage.

Having a quiet but all-around effective afternoon, Lajae Jones added 14 points and 8 rebounds with 3 steals as Cooper Jackson matched with 3 steals and 11 points to round out Barton’s double-figure scoring.

Downing-Rivers’ game winner was just his 6th point of the night but the sophomore distributed a game high 9 assists, inching to within twenty behind Brandon Hughes program third best 349 total dimes set during the 1994-96 seasons.

Brody Robinson led four Broncbusters in double-digits with a game high 20 points including 4-of-11 from beyond the arc. Jordan Frazier knocked down a trio of arc busters for 19 points with Braxton Jones adding 10 points. Thomas Tut posted a 14 point, 10 rebound double-double effort with Charles Chukwu also hauling down 10 rebounds.

RECAP
In a lackluster first half of both teams shooting under 35%, Garden City jumped out to an eight-point mid-half lead before a Cougar 9-0 run surged ahead as the squads battled back-n-forth the final six minutes to an eventual 32-30 Broncbuster lead.

Eight straight gave Barton a pair of second half leads, the last coming with 11:33 left before the Broncbusters would later score eleven straight in a two-minute span digging the Cougars a four-point deficit.

Big plays throughout the lineup kept the Cougars in the game as the lead exchange hands nineteen times including Kindell’s three-pointer on Downing-Rivers’ 9th assist putting Barton out front 64-63 with 1:55 remaining.

A pair of missed Broncbuster free throws followed by a pair of Jones charity tosses temporarily put the Cougars up three before Garden City drained a pair of tosses six seconds later cutting the deficit to one.

Draining the shot clock down to its final seconds, Kindell’s three-ball bid to ice it missed its mark but Thompson secured the biggest of his team leading 9th rebound. With the Broncbusters needing to foul, Kindell calmly sank the free throw shots putting Barton back up three with 18 seconds left.

Robinson curled off a screen for a lean-in 4th arc buster of the game tying it for the 8th and final time setting up a final nine seconds of dramatics.

Enter back in the heroics of Downing-Rivers, taking the ball up court in finding a seam to the cup putting up an 8-foot contested runner, kissing it off the glass for the game winner with 2.5 seconds on the clock.

The Broncbusters orchestrated an executed play to Robinson but the sophomore’s running half-court shot was too firm in banging off the backboard and side of the rim to the relief of the Cougar faithful.

Barton picked up the win despite shooting just 37.9% on the afternoon as the Broncbusters finished up at 38.8%. The Cougars forced 15 turnovers resulting in a plus-18 point advantage and a six rebound edge leading an eight point margin on second chance points.

SERIES NOTES
– Barton sweeps the season series
– Barton’s win snapped Garden City’s two-game win streak at the Barton Gym
– Barton leads the series 44-13 at the Barton Gym
– Barton leads the overall series 76-38

Record Book Watch
Cooper Jackson
– 182 career steals *2nd most – 137 behind Eric Bush’s 319 (1999-01)

Mozae Downing-Rivers
– 329 career assists *4th most – 20 behind Brandon Hughes’ 349 (1994-96)

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