ALTUS —Western State’s Simeus Webster drove the length of the floor with 3.6 seconds remaining to upset No. 15 ranked Connors State Monday night 86-84 on the Pioneers’ home floor.
The loss drops the Cowboys to 22-3 for the season and into a first place tie with Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa at 10-2 in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Cowboys will now regroup at home Thursday night at Melvin Self Field House when they play host to Redlands Community College. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.
“Our effort was just poor all game long,” said Cowboys head coach Bill Muse. “We had no energy and a lack of concentration leading up to this game.
“Maybe it’s good that we lost and now will regroup and refocus. You hate to lose and have that happen, but we played so sloppy. We couldn’t even get the ball inbounds,” said Muse, adding “It was just a bad performance all away around.”
The Cowboys had several opportunities to seal the victory in the final 35 seconds but it was their inability to get the ball inbounds.
Leading 84-79 following two free throws by Ra’Shawn Langston, who finished with 25 points, the Pioneers moved to within a two points of Connors 84-82 on a 3-point shot by Darron Johnson, who finished with 37 points, with 31 seconds remaining.
CSC called a timeout setting up an inbounds play, but turn the ball over. Zap Bobb was fouled with 26 seconds left, missing his attempt at the line. However, the Cowboys grabbed the rebound, but turned it over again.
Western’s Jeshon Jones then scored with eight seconds left to tie the game. Connors then was whistled for a traveling call setting the stage for Simeus Webster’s drive for the winning basket.
Cowboys’ inability to convert at the free throw line (5-15) found Connors trailing at the half. 44-36. Connors finished 26-of-45 at the charity stripe, 21-of-30 in the final 20 minutes.
Â Following Langston in the scoring was Bishop Coulter with 19 points and Terrance Jones with 11.
It was Western’s Â Johnson who was red hot from the field in the opening 20 minutes as he rammed home 20 points through the hoop which included four from behind the arc.
Connors only lead of the half was 10-9 with 14:58 left. It was tied at 11-all before Western regained the lead for good in the first half on two back-to-back buckets for a 15-11 advantage with 12:02 remaining.
WESTERN STATE 86, CONNORS STATE 84
Connors State 36 48 -84
Western State 44 42 -86
Connors State (22-3, 10-2)–Langston 25, Coulter 19, T. Jones 11, Bobb 9, Cochrell 8, Roy 7, M. Jones 5.
Western State (16-9, 5-7)–Johnson 37, Jones 13, Webster 10, Givins 9, Green 9, Okafor 4, Vaughn 3, Solomon 1.