The Connors State Cowboys had to play catchup from the opening tip but could never quite get all the way back as they fell to No.11-ranked Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa 79-71 in an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference showdown and the season home finale for the Cowboys.
The Mavericks (18-1, 13-1) jumped out in front by a dozen in the opening minutes of the game but Connors battled back shooting 11-of-20 from the field to get back to within four points with five minutes left in the half. But, as they did all game long when Connors got close, Northern went on a run, this one a 12-5 spurt to close out the half and lead in the locker room 39-28.
The second half was more of the same as Connors cut the deficit to seven with 14 minutes to play only to see the Mavericks stretch the lead back to 15 at 70-55 with five minutes left. The Cowboys outscored Northern down the stretch 16-9 but could get no closer than seven to drop to 13-6 on the season and 8-6 in the OCAC.
A pair of sophomores playing their final game at Melvin Self Fieldhouse led the Cowboy scoring with Gavin Harris getting 21 points and Jahcoree Ealy putting in 18. Freshman Mason Alexander played a strong game inside for Connors and scored 16 points in a foul-riddled, closely-called game that saw 48 fouls called. Game-high scoring honors went to Avante Lederer of Northern who had 23 points.