Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks men's basketball team exploded mid-way through the second half in route to earning a 87-70 victory over East Texas Baptist University in American Southwest Conference play on Thursday night.
After trailing 39-36 at halftime, Ozarks (9-7, 9-4) turned things around in the second half, outscoring the Tigers (7-8, 7-5) 19-0 over a seven-minute span. Chris Isom’s jumper with 13:47 remaining gave the Tigers a 54-50 lead, but that would be the only points East Texas Baptist would score over the next 7:44. The Eagles would fly out to a 69-54 lead before the visitors would finally hit a basket at the 6:39 mark. Jacob Sibley and Clint McHenry would score back-to-back layups to begin the momentum-changing run and give the game its seventh tie of the night with 12:09 remaining. Sibley wasn’t finished though as he scored again thirty-three seconds later. Brad Johnson then scored and Sibley hit a three-pointer. David Hamilton followed with a shot of his own to continue the burst. At the 7:42, Sibley hit two free throws and Habeeb Kareem would hit one-of-two to give Ozarks a 66-54 lead. Kareem would complete a three-point play to give Ozarks a 69-54 advantage with 6:39 left. Defensive stalwarts Scott McCall and Brad Johnson held All-America guard Cedric Isom to 10 points, including only 4 in the second half. Kareem led Ozarks with 22 points. Sibley came off the bench to score 17 points, including hitting 3-of-4 from the three-point line. Josh Joyner scored 15 points. Hamilton had 8 rebounds, all on the defensive end, to lead the team. Johnson had 9 assists. Ozarks will host LeTourneau on Saturday.