No. 10 Tiger men reach 20 wins at Garden City, back home Saturday vs Dodge City


From RAMA PEROO/Cowley College

The No. 10-ranked Cowley College men’s basketball team rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to win 74-66 Wednesday at Garden City. The victory was the 20th win of the season for the Tigers and snapped a four-game winning streak for the Broncbusters.

The Tigers (20-3) remain one game behind conference-leading Barton with a conference record of 15-2. Garden City (15-8) falls into a tie for fifth place in the conference with a record of 11-6.

Cowley got off to a slow start on Wednesday, trailing 13-5 early on and 34-29 at the end of the first half.

After shooting only 30 percent in the opening half, Cowley shot 50 percent and out-scored Garden City 45-32 over the final 20 minutes of play.

“That was a great team effort,” Cowley head coach Donnie Jackson said. “It took us a while to settle in, but we found a way to keep fighting until we did. This was a gut-check win.”

Trailing 40-31, Cowley rallied to take its first lead of the second half at 51-50 on a dunk by Jeff Nwankwo with just under nine minutes remaining.

Clinging to a 56-55 advantage, the Tigers got back-to-back three-pointers from sophomores Arzhonte Dallas and Damare Smith to increase its lead to 62-55 with 5:36 remaining, and Cowley went on to the eight-point win.

“Arzhonte and Damare hit some very timely shots for us down the stretch,” Jackson said. “I really challenged those guys before the game that the team needed them. They stepped up for us.”

Nwankwo and Dallas combined for 24 second-half points and finished with 18 points apiece, while Nwankwo added 10 boards. Smith finished with 11 points and four assists, and Corey Thomas helped Cowley win the rebound battle with 15 boards.

Garden City shot only 26 percent in the second half and was led by Thomas Tut’s 19 points and 16 rebounds. Brody Robinson added 13 points and 10 assists, while Charles Chukwu chipped in with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Cowley will return home to face Dodge City (9-14 overall, 7-10 Jayhawk Conference) on Saturday at 3 p.m. before hosting 15th-ranked Hutchinson (19-3 overall, 14-2 Jayhawk Conference) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

“We have a two-game home stand coming up, and we must protect our home court,” Jackson said. “Dodge has excellent guard play, and Brad (Witherspoon) is going to have them ready,” Jackson said. “We need to be ready to have great practices to give ourselves the best opportunity to win.”

Box score:

Cowley (74): Jeff Nwankwo 7-16 4-7 18, Arzhonte Dallas 7-17 1-1 18, Damare Smith 4-9 0-0 11, Leslie Owens 1-5 2-4 4, Corey Thomas 2-5 2-4 6, Shamarrie Hugie 4-8 0-0 9, Avante Nichols 1-4 0-0 2, Marcus Zeigler 2-6 1-2 6, Faustin Phanor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-70 10-18 74.

Garden (66): Jordan Frazier 3-10 3-3 11, Braxton Jones 3-16 0-2 7, Thomas Tut 7-13 4-7 19, Charles Chukwu 4-11 3-8 11, Brody Robinson 3-13 6-7 13, Isaiah Dixon 1-1 0-0 2, Elijah Roberts 1-3 1-1 3. Totals: 22-67 17-28 66.

Three-pointers: Cowley 8-22 (Dallas 3-7, Smith 3-6, Zeigler 1-3, Hugie 1-2, Nwankwo 0-3, Nichols 0-1), Garden 5-30 (Frazier 2-9, Jones 1-8, Robinson 1-7, Tut 1-4, Roberts 0-2).

Rebounds: Cowley 47 (Thomas 15), Garden 41 (Tut 16). Assists: Cowley 19 (Dallas 6), Garden 17 (Robinson 10). Turnovers: Cowley 17, Garden 16. Total fouls: Cowley 22, Garden 15. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none.

Cowley women can’t hold the lead, fall 76-61 at Garden City

In what has been a recurring theme for the Cowley College women’s basketball team, the Lady Tigers battled hard to take a fourth-quarter lead but were unable to finish off the win while losing 76-61 Wednesday night in Garden City.

The loss marked the fifth time this season Cowley has had the lead entering the fourth quarter but was unable to come away with the victory. In fact, the first time these two teams met on December 2 in Ark City, Garden City rallied from 16 points down in the final five minutes to win.

“Really, this was just a repeat of our game here,” Cowley head coach Todd Clark said. “We took the lead late and had a bad call go against us, from which we never recovered.”

The Lady Broncbusters are now 12-10 overall and 7-10 in the Jayhawk Conference. Cowley has dropped five games in a row to fall under .500 for the first time this season, with a record of 11-12 overall and 5-12 in the conference.

Wednesday’s game was close for three quarters, with Cowley trailing 17-13 after one-quarter of play and 37-35 at the end of the first half. Sophomore Ndack Mbengue scored 14 first-quarter points to keep Cowley within striking distance.

The Lady Tigers would shoot 70 percent in the third quarter to take a 53-51 lead into the final quarter. Unfortunately, Cowley made only 2-of-15 shots from the floor in the fourth quarter and was out-scored 25-8.

“When you shoot 13 percent in the fourth quarter and have 25 turnovers in the game, it is hard to win, especially on the road,” Clark said.

After shooting only 12-of-53 from the floor over the previous four games, Lady Tiger freshman Hattie Pyle showed signs of breaking out of her shooting slump by going 6-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the foul line to lead all scorers with 21 points and nine assists.

Mbengue went 0-for-3 from the floor and did not score in the second half, as she finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Garden City shot 50.9 percent from the floor and was led by Sariah Conley and Stevi Yancy, scoring 16 points apiece.

Cowley, which is 9-4 at home, will host No. 11-ranked Dodge City on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Conquistadors (20-3) are second in the conference with a record of 13-3.

Box score:

Cowley (61): Destiny Yates 3-5 2-2 8, Ndack Mbengue 6-12 2-3 14, Anna Przyszlak 5-17 1-2 11, Hattie Pyle 6-14 7-10 21, Jaiden Smith 1-4 0-0 3, Zuzanna Komor 1-3 2-2 4, Josephine Vourliotis 0-0 0-0 0, Georgia Knight 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-55 14-19 61.

Garden City (76): Sariah Conley 6-9 0-0 16, Ana Ramos Pires 7-10 0-0 14, Sierra Driessen 4-12 5-6 13, Antonicia Moultrie 4-5 0-0 8, Stevi Yancy 5-13 4-4 16, Maya Nieto 3-8 0-0 9. Totals: 29-57 9-10 76.

Three-pointers: Cowley 3-12 (Pyle 2-4, Smith 1-3, Przyszlak 0-3, Yates 0-1, Komor 0-1), Garden 9-23 (Conley 4-5, Nieto 3-7, Yancy 2-8, Driessen 0-3).

Rebounds: Cowley 36 (Mbengue 15), Garden 18 (Moultrie 8). Assists: Cowley 16 (Pyle 9), Garden 24 (Conley, Driessen 8). Turnovers: Cowley 25, Garden 15. Total fouls: Cowley 16, Garden 15. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none.