Clarksville, Ark.-The University of Ozarks Eagles chances of returning to the playoffs got thinner on Thursday night as Louisiana College picked up a 80-70 victory in American Southwest Conference play.
<#IMAGE:1#>The Eagles (7-15, 6-11) will need to win their final three games to earn a playoff bid and Louisiana College (8-10 ASC) would need to drop their final two games. Louisiana College holds the tie-breaker over the Eagles, who sit in fifth place in the ASC East division. The first three playoff seeds have already been secured by Mississippi College, UT-Dallas and LeTourneau University. Ozarks will travel to Clinton, Mississippi to face nationally ranked Mississippi College on Saturday. The Eagles will then finish the regular season at home with games against East Texas Baptist University on February 15 and LeTourneau University on February 17. Ozarks had trouble overcoming a 47-30 halftime deficit in Thursday night’s loss. The Wildcats (8-14, 8-10) were on fire, hitting 9-of-17 (52%) from the three-point line in the first half, and ended the game knocking down 50 percent of their shots from the field. Ozarks freshman guard Blake Belford kept the Eagles in the contest by scoring 12 points in the first twenty minutes. The Wildcats maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half before the Eagles went on a 12-0 run over a five-minute span to close the gap to 71-66 with 3:05 remaining. Habeeb Kareem carried Ozarks in the second half scoring 13 points en route to hitting a team-high 21 points. Belford ended with a career-high 18 points. Chris Clark led the team with 8 rebounds.