CAMDEN, Ark.—Connors State overcame foul trouble late to fight off Coahoma (Miss.) Community College 86-77 Saturday in the Southern Arkansas University Classic.
Cowboys return home Tuesday for its home opener against Southwestern Christian University Junior Varsity. Tip-off at Melvin Self Field House is 7 p.m.
Cowboys (2-0) behind the sensational play of freshman guard Jahcoree Ealy, who poured in 28 points, jumped out to a 45-28 lead at the half, and then had to overcome a foul plague second half.
"We were really lucky in the first half, jumping out to 16, 17 points leads then playing a terrible second half," said Connors Coach Bill Muse.
Cowboys, who had only nine players suited out on the bench for the game, were in trouble late in the game.
Muse who suited out Jordan Graham, but was hoping not to play him, due to an injured ankle he sustained in practice entered the game late to help get the win.
"If I didn't use Graham, who was basically playing on one leg, we would have played with just four players," said Muse.
Point-guard Callen Haydon, who missed a majority of the game when he took an elbow over an eye, which will require stitches, scored 20 points in the win.
Caleb Riggs scored 16 points in the win, tying a previous career high against Central Baptist College last season.
Cowboys held a 19-point lead in the second half, 57-38 midway the half, before the Tigers made a run at Connors. The Tigers came with-in seven points of the Cowboys, 83-76 with less than a minute on the clock.
It was as close as the Tigers would come to the Cowboys.
A game which had 60 fouls, 28 for the Cowboys and 32 for the Tigers saw both teams draining their attempts at the stripe.
Connors drained 30-of-36 free throw attempts, while the Tigers went to the line 40 times and converted 29.
"They (officials) were really calling the game tight, said Muse, adding "You expect that early in the season."
Coahoma drained 10 shots from behind the 3-point line, while the Cowboys had just four.
CONNORS STATE 86, COAHOMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE 77
Connors State 45 41—86
Coahoma CC 28 49—77
Connors State (2-0)—Ealy 28, Haydon 20, Riggs 16, Tanksley 8, Cain 6, Jordan 4, Hornsby 2, Kelly 2.
Coahoma CC (1-1)—Paige 17, Richardson 17, Mitchell 16, Moore 11, Holly 5, Bolden 2, Washington 2, Johnson 1.