Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles won their American Southwest Conference East Division season-opener, 80-78, against Austin College on Tuesday night.
The Eagles (4-8, 1-0) snapped a five-game losing streak and notched their third home win of the season with Tuesday’s victory. Three Kangaroo (2-9, 0-1) turnovers within the first three minutes of the game resulted in a 10-0 lead for Ozarks to begin the contest. A layup by Caleb Hilton gave the Eagles a 21-7 lead with 11:54 remaining in the half. Austin would tie the game at the 7:15 mark, but the Eagles would end halftime with a 35-33 lead behind the sharp shooting of Brent Johnson. Johnson scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the first half on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. Ozarks held its largest lead of the second half when Mike Taylor hit a jumper at the 17:30 mark making the score 46-39. The Kangaroos fought back to take a 76-70 advantage before Johnson nailed his third three-pointer of the game with 3:36 remaining. David Hamilton’s free throw with fifty-eight seconds remaining gave Ozarks a 79-78 advantage and Josh Joyner hit a free throw with seventeen seconds left to give the Eagles a two-point cushion. Austin had possession of the ball with 12 seconds remaining, but a pesky Ozarks’ defense forced an errant three-point shot with just two seconds left. Taylor finished the game with a career-high 21 points. Taylor, Johnson and Hamilton had 5 rebounds apiece to lead Ozarks. Ozarks continues their home stand when they host East Texas Baptist on Thursday night.