In a rematch of last year’s national championship game, the Cowley College men’s basketball team once again made a furious comeback against defending national champion Coffeyville before losing Wednesday night inside W.S. Scott Auditorium. This time, the Tigers rallied from a 10-point second half deficit to force overtime on Raishaun Brown’s three-pointer at the end of regulation, before falling 80-76.
Things started well for the Tigers in the conference opener for both teams as Cowley led 14-4 following the third three-pointer of the game from sophomore transfer Xavier Valley. However, Coffeyville would grab its first lead of the game at 25-24 after back-to-back three-pointers by Dayshawn Wiley.
After falling behind by five points (35-30), Cowley sophomore Clarence King’s three-point play in the final second of the first half pulled the Tigers within 35-33 at halftime.
The Red Ravens would score the first four points of the second half and eventually led by as many as 10 points (57-47) after a three-pointer by Jules Bikoy with 8:20 left to play.
As was the case in last year’s title game, the Tigers continued to battle. This time, Cowley actually went back in front after three-pointers by King and Brown capped a 16-4 run to give Cowley a 63-61 lead with 2:45 remaining.
Coffeyville would regain the lead and held a 68-65 advantage after Deng Mayor made 1-of-2 free throws with 16.8 seconds left. Needing a three-pointer to tie and force overtime, Xavier Washington misfired on a three-point attempt but Valley was there for the offensive rebound and he smartly found Brown open in the corner for the game-tying three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
“Ray deserved to hit that shot because he is in the gym every day working on his game,” Cowley head coach Donnie Jackson said.
Coffeyville would score first in the extra session and never trailed again as free throws came into play. The Red Ravens made 8-of-10 free-throw attempts in overtime, while the Tigers went just 3-of-8 from the charity stripe.
“We have got to have the confidence to step up to the line and put them in,” Jackson said.
Cowley is now 4-3 overall and 0-1 in the Jayhawk Conference. The Tigers have held second half leads in all three of their defeats.
“It may not show in the win column, but I think we are improving as a team,” Jackson said.
Coffeyville improves its record to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the conference. Sophomore guard Love Bettis led five Ravens in double figures with 19 points.
Brown led Cowley with 22 points and six rebounds. Freshman Mekhi Cameron came off the bench to finish with 18 points, while King added 17 points, five rebounds and four assists. Valley also played well, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds.
“Xavier played a heck of a game. We need him to step up like that,” Jackson said. “It hurt having Kennedy Willis in foul trouble. His absence in the lineup definitely played a factor in the game.”
Cowley will attempt to bounce back Saturday at 3 p.m. when they play at Dodge City. The Conquistadors, which were picked to finish second in the Jayhawk Conference, are 5-1 to open the season.
“The games aren’t going to get any easier for us,” Jackson said. “Dodge is probably the most talented team in the league, so we have got to have short term memory and find a way to outwork their talent.”
Coffeyville 80, Cowley 76, OT
COFFEYVILLE (4-3, 1-0)
Dayshawn Wiley 4-9 2-4 13, Noah Butler 4-9 6-6 14, Love Bettis 5-13 9-11 19, Deng Mayar 7-14 1-2 15, Nathan Johnson 2-3 0-0 4, Jules Bikoy 3-6 2-2 10, Oluwatimisola ToluOg 2-2 1-2 5. Totals 27-56 21-27 80.
COWLEY (4-3, 0-1)
Raishaun Brown 8-18 2-2 22, Clarence King 6-11 4-5 17, Emmanuel Austin 0-2 0-0 0, Xavier Valley 3-6 0-0 9, Kennedy Willis 1-2 0-4 2, Mekhi Cameron 5-15 4-4 18, Xavier Washington 0-5 3-4 3, Faustin Phanor 0-0 0-0 0, Chris Spenkuch 1-1 1-6 3, KJ Spiller 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 24-60 16-27 76.
Halftime: Coffeyville 35-33. End of Regulation: 68-68. 3-Point goals: Coffeyville 5-15 (Wiley 3-7, Bikoy 2-4, Mayar 0-2, Johnson 0-1, Bettis 0-1); Cowley 12-34 (Brown 4-11, Cameron 4-11, Valley 3-6, King 1-3, Washington 0-3). Rebounds: Coffeyville 34 (Mayar 13); Cowley 25 (Valley 7). Assists: Coffeyville 8 (four with 2); Cowley 6 (King 4). Turnovers: Coffeyville 7, Cowley 9. Fouled out: Mayar. Total fouls: Coffeyville 18, Cowley 24. Technical: Wiley.