Brownwood, Texas-A poor second half shooting performance caused the University of the Ozarks men's basketball team to suffer a 90-77 loss to McMurry University in the first round of the American Southwest Conference championship tournament on Friday afternoon.
Ozarks ends the season with a 14-12 overall record while McMurry improves to 18-8. The Eagles went almost five minutes during the second half without scoring a basket and were outscored 50-38 in the final twenty minutes of play. The Eagles were stuck on 56 points from the 14:01 mark until a Ted Beard jumper with 9:35 remaining. Beard’s shot, however, did get the Eagles within 64-58 but that would be as close as they would get. Ozarks hit just 14-of-42 (33%) of their shots in the second half. Free throw woes also limited Ozarks’ chances of a comeback as the Eagles made 15-of-31 (48%) in the game. Ozarks appeared to have the momentum late in the first half after storming back and taking the lead, but were unable to maintain that spark coming out of the locker room. The Eagles fought their way back from a nine-point deficit at the 8:42 mark of the first half to take a 38-34 lead with 52 seconds left. In all, Ozarks closed out final 8:42 with a 20- 12 run. Josh Joyner and Habeeb Kareem each scored 19 points. Brad Johnson led the team with 8 rebounds and 8 steals. Johnson’s 8 steals tied the single game ASC tournament record. It was the second time the Indians defeated Ozarks this season. McMurry will face Mississippi College tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.