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3rd ranked Barton Men Win Battle of Top Ten Teams in Arkansas City

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ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (BartonSports.com) – In a Saturday battle of two Top-10 nationally ranked teams, the 3rd ranked Cougars of Barton Community College men’s basketball avenged its lone season’s blemish in a 75-73 victory at 10th ranked Cowley College.

BOX SCORE

The Cougars found themselves trailing by six with 7:38 remaining in first half action before owning the final four minutes in rattling off a 14-0 run to lead 38-27 into the locker room.

Barton stretched it to twelve in the first three minutes of the final frame but a 10-0 run by the Tigers tied it up at 52 near the midpoint.

Tied again at 54, Barton surged back ahead with four straight only to have Cowley respond with the next six in taking a 60-58 lead with 5:44 left.

For the next four minutes it was all Barton in the game’s deciding pivot point, stringing a 10-0 run together with Cooper Jackson‘s pair of steals igniting the squad for a 68-60 advantage with 3:28 remaining.

The lead remained at seven following Lajae Jones‘ three-pointer with 1:44 left but a Cowley trey and an ill-advised Barton foul and two turnovers left the door ajar.

Cowley took advantage of the opportunity with six consecutive points drawing to within one but a pair of perfect trips to the free throw line kept the lead safe. Brent Moss drained a pair of clutch charity shots pushing the lead to three with 18 seconds and following a Tiger miss, Jones sealed the victory with 5 seconds remaining as Cowley drained a three-pointer just inside half court with under a second left to end the scoring.

Avenging its lone loss of the season coming to the Tigers back in late November, Barton has won twelve straight and for the first time in program history stay unblemished in twelve straight of the rugged KJCCC featuring four ranked teams.

The Cougars now take over the conference lead at 15-1 and 21-1 overall while the loss snaps Cowley’s four-game win streak dropping the Tigers to 14-2 in league and 19-3 on the season.

Barton has little time to celebrate the big win as No. 22 Butler comes to the Barton Gym on Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

Ring Malith was the first half difference maker for the Cougars, scoring 16 of his team high 18 points in the opening twenty minutes including seven points coming within Barton’s 14-0 first half closeout.

Jones posted his 7th double-double of the year, putting in a workmanlike 17 points and 13 rebounds, draining a pair of triples and going 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Brent Moss led a Barton slim, four-point difference coming of the bench with 14 points, none larger than his lone pair of clutch free throws, and grabbed 6 rebounds helping Barton to another slim, one-rebound difference.

Myles Thompson scored Barton’s first six points coming out of the locker room in reaching double figures with 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

A quiet scoring night for Mozae Downing-Rivers and Jackson for a combined 8 points but the duo kept the offense going distributing a combined five of the Cougars’ eight assists and five of the squad’s eight steals including turning up the pressure late in flipping the tide of the game.

Also giving the Cougars a solid fourteen minutes off the bench, Amiri Ndayisaba contributed all his five points in late first half action including a trey to help reverse the momentum into Barton’s favor.

Barton overcame one of its worst shooting performances of the year at just 38.8% by grabbing 13 offensive rebounds led by Thompson’s five. The Cougars also got themselves to the free throw to offset Cowley’s six point advantage from beyond arc, making 17-of-25 (68%) to the Tigers’ 11-of-14.

Cowley finished at a 41.5% clip from the field but knocked down just 8-of-26 (30.8%) from long range.

The Tigers were led by the 4-of-8 from three-point including the last second bomb from Arzhonte Dallas to lead all scorers with 20 points and 4 steals. Leslie Owens was the only other Tiger in double-digits with 11 points with Corey Thomas taking home game high rebounds with 17 boards and contributed 9 points.

Highly touted Jeff Nwakwo played through foul concerns for thirty minutes, fouling out with five minutes to finish ten points below his average with just 6 points but exceeded his normal night on the boards in grabbing 9 rebounds.

SERIES NOTES
– The teams have split the last six meetings
– Barton’s second straight win at Cowley
– Barton leads the series 8-5 in Arkansas City
– Barton leads the overall series 28-14

Record Book Watch
Cooper Jackson
– 167 career steals *2nd most – 152 behind Eric Bush’s 319 (1999-01)

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