Turnovers costly in loss to ninth-ranked Cougars
Garden City, KS-With the 'six-seconds-or-less,' philosophy, there's definitely going to be a lot of give and take.
Unfortunately, on Wednesday night, there was more giving than taking.
Myles Thompson and Ring Malith combined for 43 points, Keandre Kindell poured in 15 in 28 minutes off the bench, and No. 9 Barton edged Garden City, 86-78 at Conestoga Arena.
After turning the ball over a season-low four times vs. Coffeyville on Saturday, the Broncbusters had 15 giveaways on Wednesday. Brody Robinson, who entered play fourth in the conference in assist-turnover ratio, had five inexplicable giveaways as Garden City saw their four-game winning streak snapped to drop to 10-6 overall and 6-4 in league play.
"They (Barton) just kicked our butt," Head Coach, Rusty Elmore said. "They just guarded the heck out of us, and we couldn't do anything."
Garden City was held to less than 100 points for the first time in three games. They shot just 39 percent from the floor and were outrebounded, 37-26.
"They used us like a dishtowel today," Elmore said. "We really had no answer for them."
The Broncbusters looked shellshocked out of the gates, missing their first five shots and falling behind 14-0 four minutes into the contest. But they stormed back, answering with a 32-15 run capped by a Braxton Jones 3-pointer and a Robinson driving layup to give the home team a 32-29 advantage with 4:38 to go. They were up four at the half.
"We dug ourselves a pretty big hole," Elmore said. "We did a good job to fight back and take the lead, but we didn't finish it." We had plenty of chances."
Garden City, which led by as many as six, could never pull away in the second half. Cooper Jackson hit a couple of free throws, and Thompson, who had his way for most of the night on the interior, knocked down a two-footer over Charles Chukwu to give the Cougars their first lead of the final period.
Then controversy struck.
Trailing by one with 16 minutes to go, Malith drove from the left wing to the baseline. Isaiah Dixon, whose feet appeared to be outside the restricted arc, was in position. But when the two collided, Dixon was called for a blocking foul. After a brief discussion, the officials went to review. But instead of overturning the call, they counted the basket and instead signaled for a double foul on Malith and Dixon.
Garden City never led again.
The Cougars answered with nine straight points as the Broncbusters went scoreless the next three minutes. And when Thompson maneuvered inside for a layup, Barton had a 67-56 lead with 10:08 remaining.
"We've got a week off to get things right," Elmore said. "Hopefully, we have a new focus going into next week."
The Broncbusters managed to pull within four after Jones buried three free throws with 4:24 to play. But their offense went silent again. Thompson hit from the charity stripe, Jackson made 1-of-2 at the line, and Kindell turned a Robinson turnover into an easy layup on the other end to put Barton up, 77-69.
Jones finished with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting for Garden City. Robinson had 26 and 11 assists but was just 6-of-19 from the floor. Elijah Roberts scored 11 in 22 minutes off the bench.