Clarksville, Ark.-The Hendrix College Warriors weathered a valiant University of the Ozarks Eagles comeback as the visitors from Conway took a 73-67 non-conference victory on Tuesday night.
<#IMAGE:1#>Hendrix (9-2, 1-0) took control of the game early, maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the first half, and holding Ozarks to just five points in the first eleven minutes of play. A Habeeb Kareem three point play and a high-flying baseline Chris Clark dunk were the only points the Eagles could muster in the opening eleven minutes of action. The Warriors, who were up by as many as 21 points, came out of the first half with a 41-28 lead behind a decisive 27-12 rebounding advantage. Blake Belford scored all nine of his first half points on three-pointers to help Ozarks swing some momentum in their favor. Ozarks (4-5, 3-2) struggled from the floor most of the night, hitting only 23-of-71 (32%) from the field, but came out reeling off a 10-2 run to open the second half. Kareem’s two free throw shots put the Eagles within 53-51 at the 8:02 mark. Ozarks chiseled the Hendrix advantage down to 58-57 when Jeremy Clark connected on two more free throws with 5:26 left. Hendrix’s Michael Bennett hit a pair of jumpers to give the Warriors a 66-60 lead with 2:51 remaining, but the Eagles cut the deficit to 66-65 when Ted Beard made a layup with 1:46 left. That would be as close as the Eagles would get, however, as Hendrix hit 7-of-9 free throws down the stretch to secure the contest. Kareem finished with a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. Jeremy Clark added 11 points and Tony Daniels had 10 points. Ozarks will travel to Austin, Texas, to face Concordia-Austin on January 4 and then on to Belton, Texas, to face Mary Hardin-Baylor on January 4.