Cowboys End Season in Region 2 Tournament Quarterfinals

Cowboys End Season in Region 2 Tournament Quarterfinals

Muskogee, OK- The Connors State Cowboys squandered a 19-point second-half lead and were upset by Western State's Pioneers 93-87 in the opening round of the Region II NJCAA tournament at Rougher Village Wednesday night. 

It was just a case of too many 3-pointers by the Pioneers in the second half and a lack there of by the Cowboys as Connors gave up 50 second-half points. It was a disappointing loss for Connors coach Bill Muse who drills defense into his players.

"That lack of defense in the second half cost us the game. Giving up 50 points in a half is not the way we play," said Muse. "We didn't have enough shooters or enough scorers. We played a good first half and had them exactly where we wanted.

"The game turned when they started hitting some of those 3s."

Connors could do no wrong in the opening half as sophomore Xavier Glenn scored 16 of his 18 points including four from three-point land. Brayden Hubbard, who led all scorers with 27 points in the game, had 14 at halftime.

Perhaps the only downside at that point was foul trouble for the Cowboy big men. Mason Alexander picked up his third of the game with about four minutes to play in the half and Tamaury Releford had two.

While the Hoth twins, Jack and Chang, did as expected scoring 20 and 22 points respectively for Western, it was actually a couple of players off the bench that spelled the difference as sophomore CJ Campbell and freshman Jamrian Cato hit six of the Pioneers eight treys in the second half starting with six minutes to play and the Cowboys leading 80-72.

The Pioneers outscored Connors 21-7 over that six-minute stretch. With the exception of Hubbard, the Cowboy offense was cold with no one else scoring more than six points in the second half.

Joining Hubbard in double figures for the Cowboys were Glenn with 18 points and  Donyae May who had perhaps his best game of the season with 14 points as did Jahmyl Fricas. 

Besides the Hoth twins, big-bodied sophomore Richard Lowe from Bahamas was a thorn in the Cowboys side from the field with 20 points and controlled the board for the Pioneers particularly in the first half.

Connors, the defending Region II champion, ends the season at 24-6.