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Eagles Hang Tough With McMurry

February 25, 2002
By cnp
Posted in Athletics

Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles (14-12) nearly pulled off an upset in Friday's American Southwest Conference Tournament.

The Eagles jumped out to a 19-10 lead after five minutes of play against McMurry and held a 47-45 advantage at halftime. The Eagles shot 54 percent in the first half, but only 37 in the second half. "I thought our lower shooting percentage in the second half was a combination of their defense along with our fatigue," said head coach Matt O’Connor. "It was an up and down game and their depth was too much for us." Despite a height disadvantage, the Eagles out rebounded the Indians 49-44. "Our rebounding edge was a case where we outworked them even though they had more size," said O’Connor. The Eagles notched the score at 87-87 with 2:17 left in the game after Brent Johnson nailed his fourth three-pointer of the game. McMurry then outscored the Eagles 7-1 in the final two minutes of the contest. "I thought it was one of our better efforts of the year on the offensive end," said O’Connor. "Our kids were unselfish. We were in a good frame of mind to play and we kept the crowd out of the game. I felt like we out played them from the start, but their talent and depth won in the end." Mandrell Howell led the Eagles with 23 points and was selected to the all-tournament team. Brent Johnson scored 16 points and Brian Henderson added 15 points and 13 rebounds. Ricky Johnson and Brent Gibbs scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.