Clarksville, Ark.- The Eagles held a 12-point lead in the second half but were unable to hold it as McMurry came back to pick up a 70-69 win in American Southwest Conference play Friday night.
Ozarks (6-5, 4-2 ASC) led 48-36 with 12:57 remaining in the game, but McMurry (6-2, 4-1 ASC) stormed back to eventually take a 53-50 advantage at the 6:44 mark. The Eagles never managed to get back the lead late in the game, but they did cut the deficit to one-point three different times. The latter came when Clayton Crouch nailed a three-pointer with just six seconds left. McMurry then missed both free throws with 2 seconds left to give Ozarks a last-second hope. However, the Eagles’ half court prayer was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
Ozarks went into halftime with a narrow 29-24 lead even though it trailed most of the first half. Ozarks needed a 7-2 run in the final seven minutes of the half to gain momentum. The Eagles continued that momentum in the second half as it built a double-digit lead with under 13 minutes to play. However, McMurry hit an impressive six three-pointers within a seven-minute span to take the lead for good.
The Eagles, who came into the game shooting 71 percent from the free throw line, shot an uncharacteristic 47 percent from the charity stripe.
Blake Mitchem led Ozarks with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Colby Woolverton finished with 15 points and Andre Williams added 13 points.
Ozarks will not play until January 7 when it faces Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas.