WARNER–It was like night and day for the Connors State Cowboys Thursday at Melvin Self Field House.
The Cowboys (15-2, 3-1) overcame a sluggish offensive and defensive performance the opening 20 minutes to rally from an 11-point deficit to takedown Western Oklahoma State 72-54 in an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference clash.
Connors will go on the road Monday, traveling to El Reno to battle Redlands Community College before coming home to play Northern Oklahoma-Enid next Thursday.
“We just got off to a bad first half in every way,” said Cowboys Head Coach Bill Muse. “We didn’t attack their zone very well the first half. But we fought back late in the half to keep it within two.
“Then in the second half we guarded much better and only gave up 22 points. We really, really guarded and made shots. Anytime you make shots against the zone your offense is going to look good. We made shots the second half.
“Western just out toughed us the first half. We made some adjustments at the half and played a lot better,” said Muse.
Trailing 32-21 with 4:14 remaining in the first half, the Cowboys battled back to within two points at the half 32-30, when Ra’Shawn Langston, who led Connors scoring with 20 points, scored twice on 10-foot jumpers.
Then the Cowboys took the lead for good with 17:32 left in the game when Langston scored on a drive down the middle of the lane and was fouled. He then drained the free throw giving the Cowboys a 33-32 lead.
A.J. Cockrell then scored for Connors for a three-point lead, 35-32.
Western (10-6, 0-3) converted a basket to make it 35-34, but the Cowboys then went on a 20-7 run to grab a 57-41 advantage. The Cowboys then went on another scoring run, 23-11 for the final outcome.
Darius Roy, who connected on five shots, from behind the arc, finished with 17 points. Mason Jones also scored in double digits adding 14 points.
Jeshon Jones led the Pioneers’ scoring with 20 points with Seljah Johnson scoring 11 points.
CONNORS STATE 72, WESTERN STATE 54
Western State 32 22–54
Connors State 30 42–72
Western State (10-6, 0-3)–Jones 20, Johnson 11, Johnson 9, Green 8, Benabid 4, Simus 2.
Connors State (15-2, 3-1)–Langston 20, Roy 17, M. Jones 14, Cockrell 6, Babb 4, Lowe 4, Coulter 4, Putnam 3.