A long streak ended in El Dorado Saturday night as the Barton Community College women's basketball team held off a fourth quarter rally to knock off Butler Community College 55-47.
Barton held the Grizzlies to just four points in the opening quarter in going on to lead at halftime for the 22nd time of the season. The fourteen point margin increased by two into the fourth quarter but the Cougars would need to hold Butler's charge in snapping an eight game losing streak at the Power Plant dating back to 2012.
The Cougars improve to 12-8 to remain tied for fourth in conference play and 15-11 overall while Butler drops 10-9 for seventh in league and 15-9 on the season.
Next up for the Cougars is Monday's trip to Liberal to take on the third place Saints of Seward County Community College in a 6:00 p.m. tip at the Greenhouse.
Jenny Nkem Womsi paced the Cougar offense with her 11th double-double of the season in leading game high honors with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Brennan Kirchhoff was the only other Cougar in double figures with 11 points, none larger than her lone three-pointer increasing a then-six point lead to nine with 5:11 to play then sank a pair of free throws in repeating the situation with 3:42 remaining. Acorionna Lard and Morgan Meyers each scored nine and dished out five assists with Kirchhoff diming up four as the Cougars had 15 assists on 21 made baskets.
The Cougars shot just 38.2% for the game, over 53% in the second quarter to outscore Butler by nine in the frame for the fourteen point halftime lead. Butler was an ice cold in each of through the first three quarters before draining 60% of its fourth quarter shots to finish at 29.5%.
Kayle Nero was the lone Grizzly to reach double figures, leading the team with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Barton once again controlled the boards 39-28 in outrebounding the opponent for the 20th time of the season while also holding the Grizzlies to over twenty points below their scoring average.
Butler scored the first four points of the contest before Kirchhoff put Barton on the board 5.34 left in the quarter. The Cougars scored the remaining nine points of the quarter, Lard starting the stretch with four straight.
The Grizzlies broke their over seven minute drought with a 1-of-2 trip to the line but the Cougars widened the gap on a 5-0 spurt behind Womsi's layup and Lard's lone triple of the afternoon. Barton broke it open further behind a 12-0 run through the mid minutes of the quarter capped by Kirchhoff's conversion of the And-1 for a 26-7 lead with 3:02 remaining for the Cougars largest margin of differential.
Both teams struggled to score in the third, Barton adding to its lead by two outscoring the Grizzlies 11-9 in the frame.
The fourth produced some tense moments for Cougar fans, a reminder of what transpired back in December at the Barton Gym when Butler outscored the Cougars by twelve.
Butler rattled off the first eight points to shrink the lead before Lili Shubert buried a triple pushing the margin back into double digits with 6:37 left. Another Butler spurt of four points was answered by Womsi's big offensive put-back but then the Grizzlies would cut the gap to six twice with Kirchhoff coming up big helping to calm the comeback attempt.
The first came close to the midpoint, Butler nailing a trey but Kirchhoff provided the answer with her lone triple just ten seconds later. The second time occurred a minute later as Butler's four straight was met by a pair of Kirchhoff clutch free throws with 3:42 left.
Lard's layup following a Butler missed jumper widened the margin to ten with 3:11 remaining as the Grizzlies could only come as close as eight the rest of the way including the last time on a pair of free throws with a second left on the clock.