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On To the Quarterfinals, Top Ranked Barton Men Win 83-68 Over Walters State


HUTCHINSON, Kan. ( – The top ranked Barton Community College men’s basketball team passed its first test at the 2024 NJCAA Division I National Tournament with a defensive 83-68 victory over 17th seeded Walters State Community College.


Victors of a program third best 24 straight, the now 33-1 Cougars will face perhaps its toughest test to date on Wednesday in a 12:00 p.m. tip-off at the Hutchinson Sports Arena against 8th seeded Northwest Florida State College (29-5). The Raiders, after finishing runner-up at the 2023 Championships, were impressive in the game following the Cougars’ contest rolling past 9th seeded Cowley College 85-70 to eliminate the lone team to have given Barton a loss this season.

A stingy defense held the nation’s fourth highest scoring offense 27 points below their season average ending the Senators’ year at 29-3.

The Cougars came out scoring the afternoon’s opening five points, the first on a pre-tip administrative technical on Walters State with Cooper Jackson wrecking havoc creating three steals resulting in a free throw and setting up Lajae Jones‘ baseline triple.

Walters State scored the next five and drained three triples for an eventual 15-13 lead with 10:54 to play.

Christian Bowen-Webb‘s layup tied it for the 5th and final time a minute later in sparking a 12-0 run as Barton never trailed in the final 27 minutes with fellow reserves Keandre Kindell‘s pass for a Brent Moss dunk capping the stretch for a 25-15 lead.

A 7-2 spurt by the Senators cut the deficit in half and drew back to with three at the 3:12 mark but it would be as close as they would come. Barton responded with the next eight straight in going to the halftime break up 42-30.

The Cougars went to the line 27 times in the opening twenty-minutes of wacky first half action consisting of three technicals and multiple video reviews creating minimum game flow.

Jackson, along with fellow starters Jones and Mozae Downing-Rivers were on the floor for a combined 18:30 minutes in first half play but the trio made their impacts in second half action.

Jones would put up a 14 point, 7 rebound performance in the final half, Jackson dished out four assists, and Downing-Rivers distributed seven bucket set-ups and added a three-pointer giving Barton a 15-point cushion with 13:31 to play.

Barton’s lead was under ten just one time in the final half following Walters State’s triple for the second half’s opening points but was answered by Myles Thompson‘s jumper on the way to a game high 22 points.

The Cougars’ double-digit advantage for the remaining 17:14 blossomed to as much as twenty with 2:47 left.

Thompson led nine Cougars in scoring with a trio in double figures. Jones finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the year, Ring Malith added 14, and Moss led the reserves with 14 points.

Barton also won the rebound battle by 12 led by Jones’ ten with Thompson grabbing seven and Moss collecting six.

Downing-Rivers’ game high 7 assists were joined by Jackson’s 6 and Kindell’s 4 as the Cougars had 20 assists on their 27 made field goals in shooting 50% from the floor.

Ramondo Battle led the Senators with 17 points as Malachi Hale came off the bench for 15 points. Terrance Jacobs dished out a team high 5 assists with Carter Metz distributing 4 in a reserve role.

Tracking the Cougars:
– Coverage links found on the Men’s Basketball Schedule page
– Official NJCAA Championship website:
– Tickets:
– $65 All-Session
– $16 Session
– Children age 3 and under are fee

– The 2024 Tournament is Barton’s fifth appearance in program history – the first since 2018
– Walters State was making their 9th tournament appearance – the first since 2017
– The 68 points allowed is right at Barton’s season average by opponents
– Barton’s 83 points were two points below their season average
– Barton’s 50% shooting was the 12th time over the 50% mark
– Walters State finished at 34.5% shooting marking the 17th Barton opponent under 40%
– Barton outrebounded its 29th opponent of the year

Record Book Watch
Cooper Jackson
– 205 career steals *2nd most – 113 behind Eric Bush’s 319 (1999-01)

Mozae Downing-Rivers
– 380 career assists *3rd – 73 behind Gene Butler’s 453 (1990-92)