WARNER —It was heartbreak city for the Connors State Cowgirls Thursday night at Melvin Self Field House, as the Cowgirls fell to league leading Northeastern A&M 81-76 in an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference battle.
NEO remains unbeaten in conference play at 9-0 and 17-4 overall, while the Cowgirls drop to 10-12 on the year and 4-5 in OCAC play.
The Cowgirls battled back from an 11-point deficit to send the game into overtime, deadlock at 71-71.
However, Connors was outscored 10-5 in the overtime period by the Lady Norse.
Trailing48-37 with 7:50 remaining, the Cowgirls went on a 15-5 run to slice the NEO lead to a point 53-52 with 1:22 remaining.
"Both times we played them we played them really tough," said Cowgirls head coach Jamie Fisher. "I am really proud of them.
"I thought we rose to the challenge against the best team in our league. We had had a chance. We played really great team defense tonight.
"It was little things that got us in the very end. We do a couple of things here and there and it might have been a different game," said Fisher.
The game was then tied four times down the stretch before NEO scored seven unanswered points for a 69-65 lead with 55 seconds remaining.
DeAuja Thompson, who finished with 17 points, cut the NEO lead to one point 71-70 with 10 seconds left. Both clubs took timeouts to set up plays, but it was Thompson who drained 1-of-2 free throws with 5.6 seconds left to deadlock the game at 71.
NEO had an opportunity to win the game, but Eneritz Larrange missed a shot at the buzzer.
That set the stage for NEO to dominate the overtime period as the Cowgirls did not score for 4:30 of the five-minute overtime period.
Sadie Carter led the Cowgirls scoring with 19 points, followed by Thompson's 17, with Marcia Reed adding 12 and Lauren Godbold with 11.
Betty Mununga led the Lady Norse attack with 16, with Mariam Gnaneu adding 19, Megan Jackson 14 and Larrange 13.
Cowgirls trailed 41-32 at the half as Connors held the led just three times the first 20 minutes of play. The last Cowgirls lead was 7-6 at the 7:46 mark of the first quarter.
The Lady Norse took the lead for good 9-7 on a three -point shot by Shulanberger, her first of the in the half, at the 7:03 mark. NEO scored eight unanswered points for a 14-7 lead with 6:03 showing on the clock kin the first quarter.
NEO's largest lead of the half was 11 points, 41-30 with 2:05 left in the second quarter
Thompson led the Connors scoring in the first half with 10 points.
NORTHEASTERN A & M 81, CONNORS STATE 76 (ot)
Northeastern A&M 29 12 12 18 10–81
Connors State 23 9 20 15 5–76
Northeastern A&M (17-4, 9-0)—Mununga 26, Gnanou 19, Jackson 14, Larrange 13, Shulanberger 9.
Connors State (10-12, 4-5)—Carter 19, Thompson 17, Reed 12, Godbold 11, McDonald 9, Pendley 8.