WARNER—Connors State's inability to handle the basketball, connect at the free throw line resulted in a stunning 75-67 loss to Seminole State Monday night at Melvin Self Field House.
The loss dropped the Cowboys to 15-2 on the year and 2-1 in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Trojans improved to 12-4 and 2-1.
Connors will now travel to Tonkawa Thursday night to play the No. 8-ranked Mavericks.
Cowboys managed just 13-of 27 at the free throw line and lost the battle on the boards, while turning the ball over numerous times.
"We had a lot of things hurt us tonight," said Coach Bill Muse. "We are playing with just eight guys (point guard Callen Haydon is out for several weeks due to an injured foot)."
However, the Cowboys made a late run at the Trojans. Trailing by 20 points 74-54 with 5:08 remaining, Connors' defense shut down Seminole's offense, which had dominated Connors much of second half.
" I thought we played a pretty decent first half trailing by just one (35-34) at half time and they had to make a three to do that.
"We came out of the locker room and they just blitzed us the first seven minutes of the second half.
"We fought with limited bodies, but when you shoot free throws as poorly as we shot them (13-of-27) at home it's tough to win with all the other handicaps (injuries) we have right now," said Muse.
The Cowboys held Seminole without a point in the final 4:12 of the game before they scored again.
Trailing by 20 points, Connors scored 13 unanswered points to battled back to within seven points, 67-74 with 50 seconds remaining. However, Connors was unable to score the remainder of the game.
SEMINOLE STATE 75, CONNORS STATE 67
Seminole State 35 40--75
Connors State 34 32--67
Seminole State (12-4, 2-1)— Smith 24, Thomas 14, Wyche 6, Diouf 6, Black 4, Dixon 4, Kinser 4, Jenkins 1.
Connors State (15-2, 2-1)—Riggs 16, Tanksley 16, Graham14, Ealy 9, Hornsby 8, Cain 4.