The visitors impressed during the first half with Domingos Quina escaping the Town defence but, when forced wide by goalkeeper James Shea, overhit his cross-shot. Barnsley went close again after 16 minutes, Callum Styles seeing his left-footed curler drift off target, as Luton’s best opportunity was a penalty appeal from Elijah Adebayo after he appeared to have his legs taken by Remy Vita, only for referee Andy Davies to wave play on.
Harry Cornick thought he had opened the scoring but his goal was ruled out for offside flag – but Town did take the lead after 28 minutes.
A corner from James Bree was punched up rather than out by Bradley Collins, with Allan Campbell prodding the ball goalwards as it just crossed the line before Gabe Osho made sure, the Scottish midfielder awarded with his third goal of the season.
Barnsley hoped they had won a penalty of their own when Bassi went down in the area, only for Davies to once more keep his whistle in his pocket.
The visitors were level after 43 minutes though, a goal starting with Collins, whose throw caught out the home midfield, with Carlton Morris beating Kal Naismith before coolly dinking Shea.
Luton boss Nathan Jones brought Fred Onyedinma on and his first action was to win a penalty as he was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Collins.
Adebayo hammered the ball into the top corner for his 13th goal of the season.
He might have had number 14 moments later as he was picked out by Cornick only to fluff his lines from close range.
Tykes’ Romal Palmer blasted an effort wide, with Callum Styles almost nicking a point in stoppage time – his header dropped wide – as the visitors suffered a sixth-straight league defeat.
Luton: Shea, Burke, Osho (Onyedinma 55), Naismith, Bree, Campbell, Lansbury, Mpanzu, Bell, Cornick (Kioso 80), Adebayo (Hylton 85). Unused substitutes: Potts, Mendes Gomes, Lockyer, Steer.
Barnsley: Collins, Andersen, Helik, Kitching, Styles, Josh Benson (Palmer 78), Gomes, Vita (Williams 64), Bassi (Cole 64), Quina, Morris. Unused substitutes: Walton, Iseka, Hondermarck, Halme.
Referee: A Davies (Hampshire).