On a night where not much is going right leading to a multitude of season lows, the No. 11 ranked Barton Community College men's basketball team found a way to win while surviving a last second shot to prevail 60-59 over Independence Community College. The victory keeps Barton alone atop the conference standings at 17-3 and improving to 21-3 on the season while Independence sees its conference mark slip to .500 at 10-10 and 13-10 on the year. The Cougars' next contest comes this Saturday in a trip to Dodge City Community College (6-14, 8-16) for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off.
Making just one of their first fifteen shots from the field including going scoreless for the first seven minutes, Barton would add just two more field goals in first half play for a dismal 10.7% from the field. Thankfully the conference leaders from the charity stripe were knocking down their free throws as a perfect eleven tosses kept Barton within reach at 27-18 headed to the halftime break.
Heating up to just shy of 53% in the second frame's initial ten minutes, Barton clawed back for its first lead of the game with 10:03 to play on an Akeem White slash to the hole. Five minutes later a 9-0 run would stretch the lead to ten with four minutes left but shooting woes and unforced turnovers left the door open for the Pirates.
Just like the Cougars did earlier in the half, the Pirates stayed in the game while chipping away at the deficit from the offensive end. Leading by five with just over a minute to play, Barton threw the door open for the Pirates coming up empty on the offensive end before committing back-to-back turnovers. The result was a lead shrunk to one and needing one more offensive conversion but Keshon Montague's leaning shot from behind the arc to beat the shot clock missed its mark leaving Independence the opportunity to win the game.
Moving swiftly up the court with twelve seconds remaining, Ike Durham was met outside the lane by Noah Webster and a pump fake later saw Kawanise Wilkins in the front view. Kicking out to the top of the key, Ricky Edwards' three-pointer over Elijah Ford's reach rimmed out as Wilkins secured the clinching rebound with one second remaining.
Marvin Cannon lead all scorers on the night with twenty-one points and matched a school history third best 12-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe. Typically with a multitude of double-digit scorers, Montague was the only other Cougar in the column finishing with thirteen. Wilkins led with nine rebounds with Ford and Cannon hauling down eight as the trio combined for eight blocked shots on the night.
DeAnthony McCallum led the Pirates with nineteen points while Dante Jefferson added ten.