Phoenix staff reports
WARNER – Double-doubles by Willie Atwood and Devante Robinson led the Connors State Cowboys to an 88-83 Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Thursday night at Melvin Self Field House.
The victory keeps the Cowboys on top of the league standings at 10-3 and 19-4 for the season. Eastern is now 17-7 and 6-6 in league play. Connors returns to OCAC play on Saturday when they travel to El Reno to play Redlands Community College. Tip-off is 3 p.m., following the women’s game at 1.
Atwood finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, his 10th double-double of the year. Robinson scored 24 points and also had 10 boards and a blocked shot.
“We knew going into the game we had an advantage in the post and they (Eastern) had the advantage on the perimeter,” said Cowboys head coach Bill Muse. “They are so dangerous shooting the 3s (12 for the game).”
The Cowboys went to the free-throw line 31 times, converting 17 while Eastern was 7-of-11.
“It was a very good junior college basketball game,” said Muse. “It was physical game, but the referees did a good job of controlling it.”
Connors led 44-41 at the break after technical fouls were issued on both clubs. It was a game of streaks the first 20 minutes with the Cowboys going on an 8-0 run in the final two minutes to take a 44-36 lead with 1:02 left.
The Cowboys held a 56-51 advantage before Eastern scored 14 straight points for a 65-56 lead at the 10-minute mark behind Aaron Young, who led Eastern’s attack with 25 points.
It was 67-62 with 7:34 left when the Cowboys went on a 14-4 run to grab a 77-71 advantage with 3:25 left. Robinson had two thunder dunks in the surge, one tying the game at 67-all with 69 remaining. Robinson scored six points in the Cowboys’ late surge.
Quan Jones also joined Atwood and Robinson in double figure scoring with 12 points and Muse was very pleased with his play at point guard.
“I thought Quan did an excellent job of running the team for us. And Willie (Atwood) really, really played well, along with Devante,” said Muse.
Eastern 75, Connors 60
The Cowgirls were held without a field goal for nine minutes of the second half, holding just a four point margin, 47-43, before streaking to a 72-52 lead with 3:46 left.
For Connors (5-17, 2-11), Destinee Thrash had 20 points with Johnesha Major and Lauren Godfrey each adding 12. Kaya Johnson led Eastern (21-3, 12-1) with 19 points.
Eastern broke an 8-8 deadlock with Connors at the 16:41 mark to go on an 8-0 run for a 16-8 advantage with 14:25 left. The Cowgirls sliced the Eastern lead to four points behind Thrash, who scored 13 in the first half, to make it a 20-16 game with 11:22 left.
Eastern held its largest lead of the half, 13 points, at the 6:03 mark, before the Cowgirls battled back to within 6 points at the half, 41-35.