Cowboys overcome sluggish start for win; Cowgirls victorious

Jan. 12—After a sluggish start the Connors State Cowboys pulled away in the last 10 minutes of the game to capture an 85-63 Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference win over Seminole State Thursday night at Melvin Self Fieldhouse.

The Cowboys didn't get their first lead of the game until the last five minutes of the first half and led at intermission 41-32. They jumped out to a 10-point lead at the 12-minute mark of the second half only to see the Trojans cut the lead in half two minutes later. But thanks to clutch free throw shooting (21-of-22) for the second straight game, Connors went on a 16-7 run over the next six minutes to blow the game open.

"Every night is going to be difficult in this conference and tonight was no exception," said Cowboy head coach Bill Muse. "I thought we were really sluggish and slow the first five minutes of the game, maybe feeling the effects of long trip to Altus on Monday. But I think our defense picked up in the second half and our free throw shooting really saved us like it did Monday at Western (39-of-42 in a 109-103 win). They tried to double us in the post and take away some of our strengths, but we've just got so many guys that can score it and it's hard to shut down just one scorer."

After being in foul trouble and scoring only 11 points on Monday, sophomore forward Bradyn Hubbard bounced back with 33 points against Seminole to lead all scorers. Ty Frierson, like Hubbard a Tulsa Memorial alum, had 20 points for the Cowboys as the only two in double figures. With the win Connors advances to 15-1 on the season and 2-0 in OCAC play.

The Cowgirls were also victorious in a closer contest, beating the Belles 77-72 to also stay perfect in the conference at 2-0 and 14-2 overall. Connors started out strong rolling to a 24-13 first quarter lead but Seminole had five three-pointers in the second quarter to cut Connors lead to 36-35 at halftime. Despite having standout sophomore "Yoni" Releford in foul trouble much of the third quarter, the Cowgirls found other players to take up the slack after Seminole tied the game at 38-all early in the third quarter and Connors owned a nine-point advantage after three. Seminole kept chipping away and got to within four points in the final minute before the Cowgirls held on for the win.

"Our 3s weren't falling tonight but we found ways to score without hitting the long range shot which I was pleased with," said Cowgirls head coach Jamie Fisher. "We rebounded well when we needed to but weren't always consistent. We were out of sorts early in the third quarter but there was a timeout and we settled down after that,"

The five Cowgirl starters all scored in double figures with Webbers Falls product Samantha Shanks leading the way with 17 points followed by Pashonnay Johnson with 16, Carrigan Hill had 13 along with Releford and Alyse Holliman added 12.

Connors returns to action Monday as they travel to Murray State.