Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles hung tough with NCAA Division I Northwestern State University (La.) for the entire first half and most of the second half, but the Demons poured it on late as they handed Ozarks a 93-78 loss on Friday night in Natchitoches, La.
Ozarks (1-0) had the lead in the first half for all but about six minutes in the non-conference affair, including holding a 12-4 advantage at the 15:56 mark. The Eagles continued to have the upper hand for the next ten minutes before the Demons (1-4) hit a three-pointer to take a 31-29 lead with 5:02 left. NSU, who play in the Southland Conference, eventually built a 46-41 lead entering halftime. Ozarks matched the Demons from the field in the first half, as each team went 17-of-34 (50%).
The Eagles continued to stay within striking distance of the Demons in the second half. Ozarks trailed 59-52 with 13:50 left on a Ted Beard layup. Only minutes later, Tony Brock had a steal and layup to make it 65-58 at the 12:22 mark. The Eagles would cut the deficit to 65-59 on a Clint McHenry free throw with 11:14 remaining, but that would be as close as Ozarks would get in the second half. The Demons then reeled off nine straight points to take control of the game. The Demons held a double-digit lead for the final 10:39 of the second half. Ozarks hit only five shots from the field in the remaining ten minutes of the game.
Habeeb Kareem had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Ozarks. Kareem shot 9-of-17 from the field, including nailing two three-pointers. Jeremy Clark followed with 10 points.
Ozarks will travel to Arkadelphia to face Henderson State on November 19.