JABO Ibehre's first goal for Barnsley secured a point to extend the Reds' unbeaten run to eight matches against high-flying Preston.
Over 12,000 fans made the trip to Oakwell to see two of League One's in-form sides go head-to-head, but it was the visitors who struck first when Joe Garner grabbed his 20th of the season before half-time.
Debutant Cameron Stewart, a loan signing from Ipswich, could have levelled things up for Barnsley but the 23-year-old winger failed to convert Declan John's cross.
But Ibehre, another loanee, headed home Mason Holgate's pinpoint ball in with ten minutes remaining to earn the Reds a well-deserved point.
Despite the hard-fought draw, Lee Johnson's side slipped out of the top six following Peterborough's 1-0 victory over Chesterfield.
He said: "I'm disappointed not to get a win but when you're 1-0 down to a good side like Preston you're happy with a point.
"It's not ideal to slip out of the play-offs but you've got to stick in there. Don't forget where we've come from - if you're falling from second place then it's a disaster but we're still with a shout."