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Top Seeded Barton Advances to National Semifinals for First Time Since 1999 With Win Over Northwest Florida State


HUTCHINSON, Kan. ( – For the first time since 1999 and just the third time in program history, the top seeded Barton Community College men’s basketball team advanced to the 2024 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals with a dominating 87-73 victory over 8th seeded Northwest Florida State College in Wednesday afternoon’s quarterfinal contest.


Extending the program’s third longest winning streak to 25 straight, the Cougars improve to 34-1 on the year in advancing to Thursday’s first semifinal game at 5:00 p.m. against 5th-seed Indian Hills Community College (29-5). The Warriors advance to the semifinals for the second straight year after taking down 13th seeded Odessa College 74-68 and sets up a rematch of the 2018 National Tournament when the Cougars knocked off the top seeded Indian Hills squad.

Trailing 10-7 following a 7-0 Raiders run just 5:45 into the contest, the Cougars answered the call scoring the next 12 over the ensuing three plus minutes to regain a lead they’d never surrender over the final 33:57.

Coming off the bench providing the spark with five points during the key 12-0 stretch, Keandre Kindell‘s lone trey knotted things for the final time at 10-apiece with additional buckets by Myles ThompsonBrent Moss and Cooper Jackson‘s And-1 pushing the Cougars out to a nine-point 19-10 lead.

Holding a plus-16 advantage in bench points, back-to-back Kindell and Moss buckets stretched Barton’s lead to double-digits with the largest lead of the opening half coming 2:16 later on a pair of Jones tosses and another Kindell layup making it 40-25.

An 8-0 Raiders close out to end the opening stanza cut the Cougars lead to seven, 42-35 at the halftime break.

Finishing 3-of-13 from beyond the arc, Ring Malith‘s lone long-distance ringing increased the lead to double-digits for the remaining 17:15.

Six different Cougars amplified the lead to 18 stringing together a 9-1 run with 12:55 to play as one of seven Jackson thefts created a breakaway resulting in a Raiders flagrant-2 ejection for a 1-of-2 trip to the free throw line.

Leading by as many as 23 with 6:09 remaining following a pair of Malith buckets mixed between a Lajae Jones flush capping a 6-0 spurt, Barton would have to withstand a furious 17-5 Raiders rally that sliced the margin to 11 with 1:22 left. The Cougars, who finished 24-of-33 from the stripe, held off the charge converting five-of-six from the line for the 14-point victory.

Moss led seven Cougars scoring with six in double figures finishing with a career high 18 points and five rebounds. Malith added 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting while Mozae Downing-Rivers finished with 12 points and seven assists sharing distribution honors with Kindelll as Barton had 20 assists on its 30 made field goals finishing at 50% shooting for the second straight game.

Kindall led a trio with 11 points joined by Thompson and Jackson with Jones finishing just shy of a double-double with 9 points and team high 11 rebounds and three blocks.

A trio of Raiders finished in double-digits with Tavion Banks recording the lone double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds off the bench helping NWFS to a plus-3 rebound advantage. Jamal Sumlin shared team high scoring honors with 16 and Rasheed Jones rounded out the double-figure scoring finishing with 13.

– The 2024 Tournament is Barton’s fifth appearance in program history – the first since 2018
– Northwest Florida State was making their 14th tournament appearance and third straight
– Barton’s 50% shooting was the 13th time over the 50% mark
– Northwest Florida State had its two-year run of making the semifinals snapped
– Barton was outrebounded for just the fifth time this season

Record Book Watch
Cooper Jackson
– 212 career steals *2nd most – 106 behind Eric Bush’s 319 (1999-01)

Mozae Downing-Rivers
– 387 career assists *3rd most – 66 behind Gene Butler’s 453 (1990-92)