Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles opened the 2008-2009 season with a 64-61 win over Hendrix College Saturday behind four players who reached doubles figures in scoring.
Ozarks (1-0, 0-0) held a 36-26 lead at the half and were fueled by a strong opening three minutes of the game. Jeremy Clark, Tony Daniels and Chris Williams each hit three-pointers within the first two minutes of the contest to put Ozarks ahead 9-2. Hendrix (0-1, 0-0), however, eventually took a 19-15 lead at the 13:33 mark. After battling back-and-forth over the next six minutes, Ozarks went on a 9-3 run in the final five minutes to end the half with the game’s momentum.
Ozarks had a 12-point lead on three occasions in the second half, highlighted by an Andre Williams trey at the 9:52 mark. Hendrix never got the lead in the final twenty minutes of play, but did make a run late in the game to get within 56-55. The Warriors hit a jumper and a three-pointer around the eight minute mark to get within 54-49. Clark answered with a bucket of his own, but Hendrix came back with three straight jumpers to cut it to 56-55. In the next three minutes, Ozarks built a 62-56 lead thanks in part to a pair of Clark baskets. The Warriors, though, wouldn’t go away as they had a chance to tie the game in the waning moments, but all three three-point attempts failed in the finals 20 seconds of the game.
Clark finished with a team-best 15 points. Chris Williams finished with 12 points and a team-best 10 rebounds. Andre Williams and Tony Daniels had 11 and 10 points, respectively. Tony Brock contributed 7 assists.
Ozarks will travel to St Louis, Missouri, to face Maryville University November 21 and Webster University November 22.
-Ozarks trailed for only about 2:30 in the game, all of which came in the first half.
-The Eagles went to the free throw line just 5 times in the second half, while Hendrix drew 13 chances in the second half.
-A trio of freshman – Blake Mitchem, Colby Woolverton and Jerard McGinty - saw significant action in the season-opener.
-Senior forward Chris Williams picked up a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) in the opener. He had one last season.
-Ozarks is 4-4 in their season-openers under head coach Matt O’Connor.
-The Eagles are 6-5 against Hendrix since joining NCAA III in the 1996-97 season.