Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles shot an impressive 74 percent from the field in the second half and Andre Williams sank three of his four free throw attempts in the waning moments to push Ozarks past Concordia University Texas 98-95 in American Southwest Conference play Saturday night.
Ozarks (2-3, 1-0 ASC) got another double-double performance from sophomore forward Blake Mitchem, his fourth of the season, and three others reached double figures in scoring. Williams netted 19 points, including a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to give Ozarks a 97-93 cushion. Concordia (1-2, 0-1 ASC) got a layup from Kenny Williams with 11 seconds remaining to make it a two-point game, but the Tornados sent Williams to the line again where he hit one-of-two to put the Eagles ahead 98-95 with just 10 seconds left.
The high-scoring affair saw Ozarks go into halftime with a narrow 37-36 advantage. Mitchem had a monster game on the boards in the first half, collecting 12 of his game-high 14 while scoring 12 points. Mitchem missed just one shot in the first half and his three-point play at the 10:07 mark gave Ozarks a 20-15 lead. His jumper with 4:38 remaining in the half put the Eagles ahead 31-27 and Jerard McGinty’s bucket with 3:35 left put the score at 35-27. Concordia, however, closed out the half with a 9-2 run.
Concordia kept the momentum early in the second half and eventually took an 11-point lead. Mitchem proved to be too much for the Tornados as he tied the contest with a jumper at the 12:57 mark. Ozarks controlled the next eight minutes of the game and held a 85-76 advantage with five minutes left on a Mark Perez layup. The Tornados wouldn’t go away, tying the game at 93-93 on Jon Hutton’s three-pointer with 1:34 left. McGinty’s basket with just under a minute to play gave Ozarks the lead for good.
Mitchem finished with a game-high 31 points and shot 12-of-13 from the floor. Josh Odom sparked Ozarks off the bench with 18 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. McGinty ended with 14 points.
Ozarks will continue ASC play when it hosts Mary Hardin-Baylor Monday at 7:30 p.m.