TONKAWA ---Connors State battled back from a nine-point deficit in regulation to send the game into overtime against Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa at Foster-Piper Field House Monday night only to fall to the Mavericks 87-80.
The loss drops the Cowboys to 18-5 for the year and 7-3 in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play heading into a home game on Thursday against Eastern Oklahoma State. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.
Despite placing five players in double figures, the Cowboys managed only five points in the overtime period.
Isiah Jones, who fouled out in the overtime finished with 20 points. Callen Haydon added 18 points, with Terrance Jones scoring 17 and Jordan Graham with 15.
Connors played without starter Tyrees Sidberry, who was attending a funeral and is expected to be ready for Thursday night's game.
"We are short players "said head coach Bill Muse. "We are playing a lot of guys a lot of minutes, that's a factor. We don't have a deep bench.
"Sidberry is out right now and that was a big factor. And, we just gave up too many threes (12) and there was a big differential in free throws," said Muse.
Connors was 16-of-26 at the line while the Mavericks were 17-of-23 at the stripe.
Northern was led by the 30-point performance of Deon Berrien. Keiodre Perry drained 19 more, Khobe Austin-Johnson with 14, while Omar Boone poured home 11, including six points in the overtime, both from behind the arc.
Cowboys trailed by only a point at the half 35-34, before the Mavericks streaked to a 10 point advantage 56-46 with 11:45 left in the game.
That's when the Cowboys went on a 10-0 run to come within a point of Northern, 57-56 at the 9:13 mark.
However, the Mavericks rolled to a nine-point lead 71-62 with just 3:02 remaining.
Connors rallied on a pair of free throws by Terrance Jones and two buckets by Isiah Jones to slice the Northern lead to 73-70 with 28 seconds left in regulation.
NOC missed a one-and-one free throw attempt and Haydon scored with 15 seconds left to make it 73-72.
Northern's Mike Downing drained two free throws to make it a 75-72 contest.
But the Cowboys would not quit as Burke Putnam drained a three from top of the circle to send it into overtime with two seconds left as Northern missed a shot at the buzzer.
NOC-TONKAWA 87, CONNORS STATE 80 (OT)
Connors State 34 41 5--80
NOC-Tonkawa 35 40 12-87
Connors State (18-5, 7-3)—I. Jones 20, Haydon 18, T. Jones 17, Graham 15, Tanksley 5, Putnam 3, Lowe 2.
NOC-Tonkawa (16-8, 7-3)—Berrien 30, Perry 18, Austin-Johnson 15, Boone 11, Downing 8, Traylor 3, Tanner 3.