Going toe-to-toe with the No. 8 team in the nation is a tough enough task. When that same team shots a sizzling 74 percent in the first half that task becomes enormous.
Such was the situation for the Barton Community College women’s basketball team Monday night. In a makeup contest originally set as the Jayhawk West opener at the Barton Gym, Seward County Community College couldn’t miss the opening 20 minutes, building a big lead on the way to an 86-52 win.
“Typically coaches always look at their team and what went wrong from that perspective, but you have to give Seward County a lot of credit,” Coach Carter Kruger said. “They have three international players who all made a huge impact and led them to the win.”
Seward stayed unbeaten in the conference and moved to a 1/2 game lead at 4-0 in the West. The Saints are 16-1 overall. Barton, meanwhile, fell to 1-3 in the West and 11-5 overall after suffering its third straight loss.
The Saints bolted out of the gates by hitting their first nine shots from the field – a trio of those 3-pointers. In fact Seward didn’t miss for nearly the first seven minutes of the game, building a 21-5 lead in the process. That, pretty much, was the ball game.
But just in case the Cougars had ideas of a comeback the Saints didn’t let up. Seward tore up the nets in the opening half at a 74 percent clip, hitting 20-of-27 from the field with most of those misses coming on 3-pointers. The Saints shot a very impressive 7-of-12 from behind the arc but barely missed inside the 3-point line knocking down 13-of-15.
By half Seward had put 55 points on the board and built its lead to as high as 35 late in the half. The Saints led Barton 55-25 at intermission. Barton shot just 28 percent in the opening stanza. It was the second straight game Barton shot in the 20’s in the opening half.
“Offensively we have had poor starts due to a lack of execution and careless turnovers,” Coach Kruger said. “If we can run our offense better, plus get a good shot every time, we will score much better in the opening stages of the game.”
For the game the Seward hit 60 percent from the field on 33-of-55 while the Cougars shot 35 percent.
Phikala Anthony found double digits again to the lead Cougars. The sophomore, who ended the night with 14 points, has been in double figures every game this season. She was the only Cougars in double figures in the loss to the Saints.
Rebekah Hatchard led five Saints in double figures with 21 points thanks to a 6-for-11 effort on 3-pointers.
Things will not get any easier for the Cougars the No. 2 team in the nation comes to town tonight. Hutchinson will bring its perfect 17-0 record with a 3-0 West mark in for “White Out” night at the Barton Gym.