WARNER—Connors State held off a furious Arkansas Baptist rally in the second half to post an 83-72 win at Melvin Self Field House Tuesday night.
The 26th-ranked Cowboys (11-2) will take on Bacone College Junior Varsity at 7 p.m. Wednesday night on Connors home floor.
A total of 55 fouls were whistled in the game resulting in 73 shots from the foul line. Connors connected on 25-of-32 attempts while the Buffaloes were 27-of-41 on the stripe.
“We let them get back into the ball game with all our fouling, which stopped the clock,” said Cowboys head coach Bill Muse. “But I thought we had a good performance defensively. We held them to 30 points the first half and 40 the second.
“But still that was the difference in the game. We still have a lot of work to do,” said Muse.
Bishop Coulter led the Cowboys scoring with 21 points before leaving the game with an apparent knee injury with 9:57 remaining. He also pulled down 9 rebounds, just missing a double-double, along with one block shot.
“Bishop did a good job for us tonight and a good job rebounding,” said Muse.
Cowboys swept the season series against the Buffaloes, winning the first game in Little Rock 109-94.
“They are always going to come hard at you and play hard,” said Muse. “They are older and don’t quit.”
The Cowboys held a comfortable 63-39 advantage when Bishop went down. However that’s when the Buffaloes mounted their rally. Arkansas Baptist battled back to within 10 points 70-60 with 4:30 left in the game.
Connors kept the upset minded Buffaloes (2-10) from slicing into the 10-point advantage coming no closer than 10 points, the last with 1:43 left 76-66 to secure the win.
Arkansas was 20-of-31 at the line in the final 20 minutes while the Cowboys were 18-of-23. Cowboys shot 28-of-57 from the field, only two from behind the arc.
Trailing Bishop in the Cowboys’ scoring was Mason Jones with 16 points and Ra’Shawn Langston with 11.
Gabriel Drayton led Arkansas Baptist’s scoring with 15 points, followed by Darious Elliott’s 13 and Kameron Swift’s 12 points.
Connors held a 41-30 lead at the half before breaking open the game with a 15-0 run midway the second half to post their largest lead of the game, 25 points, 61-36 at the 13:11 mark.
CONNORS STATE 83, ARKANSAS BAPTIST 72
Connors State 41 42–83
Arkansas Baptist 30 42–72
Arkansas Baptist (2-10)–Drayton 15, Elliott 13, Swift 12, Williams 9, Spriggins 8, Jackson 5, Kinnard 5, Jones 4, Daniels 1.
Connors State (11-2)–Coulter 21, M. Jones 16, Langston 11, Lowe 9, Roy 8, Cockrell 6, Bobb 4, Price 3, T. Jones 3, Putnam 2.