WARNER–Connors State overcame a sluggish offensive performance with a tenacious defensive gem in defeating Northern Oklahoma-Enid 70-64 Thursday night at Melvin Self Field House.
The 21st ranked Cowboys improved to 17-2 on the year and 5-1 in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Connors will resume play next Thursday on the road when they meet Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa in a battle for first place in the OCAC.
Led by Darius Roy, Ra'Shawn Langston and Mason Jones, the Cowboys began to hit all cylinders in the final 20 minutes offensively.
Roy led the attack with 23 points, followed by Langston's 15 and Jones' 12 point outing.
"I thought defensively we really guarded them well to just give up 24 points at the half," said Connors head coach Bill Muse, who was honored before the game for posting 600 victories as the Cowboys boss.
"Our defense was tremendous. Our perimeter play was excellent. I thought that would be the key. Our three perimeter players outplayed there three perimeter players.
"Roy did a really good job in controlling the tempo. We didn't have the scoring we usually have. It was just an ugly offensive game on both sides. We didn't attack their match-up zone very well," said Muse.
Both clubs struggled offensively in the opening half, with the Cowboys holding a six-point advantage 30-24. The Jets jumped out to a 9-0 lead before the Cowboys got on the scoreboard with 16:40 left on a Roy 10-foot jump shot.
The second half was much of the same. Connors took an eight point lead 36-28 at the 14:38 mark, before the Jets cut the Cowboys lead to three points, scoring five unanswered points to make it 36-33 with 11:40 remaining.
Connors lead was cut to two points 44-42 with 8:34 left, before the Cowboys outscored the Jets 9-0 for an 11-point advantage, 53-42 with 6:33 remaining.
NOC-Enid came no closer than the final margin of victory, six points, the remainder of the game, as it became a free throw contest, in which 51 fouls were whistled.
Connors finished 21-of-32 at the free throw line, while the Jets were 12-of-22 at the charity stripe.
CONNORS STATE 70, NOC-ENID 64
NOC-Enid 24 40-64
Connors State 30 40–70
NOC-Enid (9-6, 2-3)–Grey 17, Hall 15, Holt 11, Ballace 10, Haynes 8, Bryant 2, Dotson 1.
Connors State (17-2,5-1)–Roy 23, Langston 15, M. Jones 12, T. Jones 8, Cockrell 6, Bobb 4, Lowe 2.