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Roller coaster ride ends with Barton women hanging on for victory at Allen #GoBarton

Barton women's basketball player Richelle Turney shooting. 
 Photo by Andrew Carpenter, Hutchinson Sports Information Department.

Riding the wave of facing a big deficit to defending a big lead, the Barton Community College women's basketball team survived the roller coaster Saturday afternoon in Iola, Kansas, to pick up the Lady Cougars' first true road victory of the year with an 87-82 at Allen Community College.

The victory improves Barton to 4-3 in conference play and 8-8 on the season with Allen dropping its sixth straight sinking to 1-7 in the league and 6-11 overall.

Barton concludes its brief two-game road stretch on Monday with the short drive to Pratt Community College for a 5:30 p.m. tip at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.

Similar to their previous game against Cloud County, the Lady Cougars again got off to a tough start before making a climb back into the contest.

Following a pair of Queen Ulabo free throws to begin the early action, Allen scored the next twenty-one points to dig Barton a deep home. Beginning with a modest six pack of points, Barton began its climb in trailing 23-8 at the end of the first frame.

A Kolby Davis bucket sandwiched between a pair of Allen three-pointer started the second frame to match the Red Devils' largest lead of nineteen. Barton owned the next three minutes with an 11-0 stretch, keyed by four points from D'Shonda Hunt before the Richelle Turney show rattled off the next seven. Allen scored just their third and final bucket of the frame to halt the stretch but the Lady Cougars closed out the quarter with the final seven points getting four from Ulabo before Vanessa Oduah capped the first half scoring with a three-pointer with fifteen seconds remaining.

Suffering their lowest quarter output in the first frame of only eight points, Barton recorded their highest output of the year in the third quarter by putting up thirty-three points.

Barton had surged out in front for good with nine straight to open the third, outscoring the Red Devils 16-0 stretching back to the second quarter. Turney and Ulabo led the action scoring fifteen and nine points respectively as the Lady Cougars' 13-2 spurt pushed the score out to 60-40 with under two minutes left.

Leading 61-47 going into the fourth, Oduah's three-pointer followed by another bucket on the next possession pushed the margin back out to seventeen before the tide turned drastically to the home Red Devils.

Behind a 9-0 run, Allen cut the deficit to seven with just under four to play but a technical on a foul call resulted in Hunt sinking four straight free throws to halt the stretch. Ulabo's offensive rebound putback pushed the margin out to thirteen with five straight from Allen cutting the gap back to single digits with 2:38 remaining.

Allen continued to chase down the Cougars in the next two minutes as Barton left the door open on empty possessions and missed opportunities at the charity stripe. With the margin cut to just two with thirty-one seconds left, Turney stopped the bleeding draining a pair of free throws then sank another pair after a Red Devil bucket putting Barton back up by four again on another perfect set of tosses.

The Red Devils' final attempt to slice the deficit came up empty with Ulabo's 1-of-2 trip to the line with nine clicks on the clock sealing the hold-on victory as the Lady Cougars surrendered a season high 35 points in the quarter.

Coming up perfect on six clutch free throw attempts down the stretch, Turney's career high thirty-two points led the Cougars as the sophomore came up one rebound shy of a double-double performance. Ulabo tallied nineteen points with six rebounds with Oduah and Hunt adding seventeen and fourteen respectively.