Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks men's basketball team suffered a 71-63 loss to Hardin-Simmons University in American Southwest Conference play in Abilene, Texas, on Thursday night.
The Eagles (6-5, 6-2) drop into second place following their second league defeat this season. Hardin-Simmons (5-6, 4-4) raced out to a slim 39-34 lead at intermission behind a strong shooting performance. The Cowboys hit 15-of-26 (57%) from the floor, with five of those shots being three-pointers. Ozarks held a 9-7 lead at the 16:12 mark of the first half when Chris Clark scored, but that would be the last time the Eagles would hold the lead. In the second half, Ozarks cut the deficit to 45-44 when Chris Williams hit a free throw. The Eagles got within 58-55 after a David Hamilton layup with 6:30 remaining in the contest, but that would be as close as they would get. Three-point shooting complicated things for an Ozarks’ comeback. The Eagles made just 4-of-21 (19%) of their three-point attempts. Josh Joyner had a team-best 16 points and 8 rebounds. Joyner surpassed the 1,000 career point plateau in the game. Joyner has 1,009 career points. Joyner additionally ranks tenth in school history in career rebounding (482). Ozarks faces McMurry University on Saturday in Abilene, Texas.