Chances escaped the Barton Community College women's basketball team Saturday night in Liberal as the Cougars dropped a 106-96 overtime loss at No. 11 Seward County Community College.
Barton's second straight road overtime game leaves the Cougars at 7-4 in conference play and 14-6 overall while Seward County improves to 11-1 and 19-2 on the year. A three-game home stand is next on the slate beginning Wednesday as the conference leader and No. 4 ranked Blue Dragons of Hutchinson Community College (12-0, 21-0) come to the Barton Gym for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off on "Support Camp Hope" night.
The Cougars led twice in the final thirty seconds of regulation, including having the final possession, but couldn't get a shot off as the teams headed to overtime tied at 85. An 11-2 stretch in the extra frame provided the dagger in the Saints winning their 45th straight at The Greenhouse.
Individually, the Barton women's program saw a career record fall as Jaylin Stapleton's 9-of-10 free throw performance vaulted the Meade sophomore to the top of the career free throw made list. Now with 259 charity tosses made, Stapleton surpassed the 1998-00 Wendy Okeson's career of 253.
The 5'5" juggernaut was instrumental in Barton's upset bid, scoring thirteen points in the final 4:36 of regulation leading the Cougars back from a six point deficit. Stapleton finished with 39 points in all but nine of the forty-five minute contest to record the second most single game points in program history.
The lead kept flip flopping for the next two minutes before Stapleton knocked down one of her six three-pointers on the night to give the Cougars an 83-82 lead with 32 seconds remaining. The Saints went to the line for two of their forty free throw attempts on the night, missing the first but getting a pivotal pair of offensive rebounds to regain the lead with eighteen seconds left.
Stapleton nearly got an And-1 to fall six seconds later, settling for sinking a pair of tosses putting the Cougars back out front. Seward County had the opportunity to regain the lead with five seconds remaining but a 1-of-2 trip to the line left the door open as Stapleton was stripped on the way to the basket to send the game to overtime.
Seward County scored the first four points of the overtime frame, interrupted by a pair of Stapleton free throws and jumper, for a 15-4 stretch including an 8-0 run to secure the victory.
Stapleton was joined in double figures on the night by Regan and Irene Chukwudi. Regan had another monster night on the glass hauling down eight of her career high tying nineteen rebounds, to go along, with eighteen points to post the reigning conference player of the week's eighth double-double of the year. Chukwudi, saddled with foul trouble before exiting late in the contest, finished with ten points while Richelle Turney and Mallory Miller each finished with eight points each.
The Saints had four players with twenty or more points as all five starters reached double-figures accounting for all but five of their 106 points. Lexi Hernandez' 4-of-5 from long distance helped the Saints to 54.2% behind the arc on thirteen made three-pointers, finishing with twenty-five points and hauling down the club's biggest offensive rebound resulting in Seward County going back on top with eighteen seconds left. Carla Covane had a double-double night of twenty-three points and fourteen rebounds with Silvia Veloso and Aquila Mucubaquire adding twenty-one points each. Karolina Szydlowska rounded out the two-digit scorers with eleven points.