Clarksville, Ark.-Birmingham-Southern's Blaise White scored on a layup with 11 seconds left to help the Panthers escape with a 72-71 win over the Eagles Friday night in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Eagles (1-1) appeared to have the game won as they owned the last possession with only 20 ticks on the clock and held a 71-70 lead. However, the Panthers (1-0) forced a turnover and then executed the game-winning play seconds later on a layup. Ozarks did have the ball with eight seconds left to run the final play, but Jermery Victor’s jumper couldn’t find the net. It was a difficult game to swallow for Ozarks as they maintained the lead for most of the first half behind a solid shooting performance from the field. The Eagles then held the lead for the final 14 minutes of the second half, except for the Panthers’ game-winning shot in the waning moments.
In the first half, the Eagles hit 14-of-23 (60.9%) from the floor, including nailing 7-of-11 from the three-point line. Andre Williams scored eight first half points. His three-pointer with 5:14 left in the half gave Ozarks a 28-15 lead. The Eagles increased their lead to 31-21 on Isaiah Boxell’s three-pointer at the 3:10 mark. Boxell would drill another about a minute later to keep the momentum and help Ozarks take a 38-30 lead at intermission.
The Panthers stormed out early in the second half taking a narrow 40-38 lead within the first five minutes. Ozarks went on a scoring drought and wouldn’t connect on a field goal until the 15:56 mark. Williams buried a three-pointer, his fourth of the game, with 6:25 left to give Ozarks a 59-53 advantage. Patrick Price dialed up a three with 1:31 left to cut it to 67-66. He then nailed another after a pair of Williams’ free throws to tie the contest, 69-69, with a minute left.
Williams finished with 20 points. Boxell added 12 points. Marcus Bobb produced eight rebounds and seven points.
The Panthers went 20-5 last season and were picked to finish second in their division in one preseason poll.
Ozarks will face Berry College tomorrow.