Clarksville, Ark.-The Lady Eagles made 29 free throws, including eight straight in the final 48 seconds of the game, to hold off a furious UT-Dallas rally and gain an 85-73 victory in Saturday's American Southwest Conference match-up.
With the win, Ozarks (12-11, 11-9) keeps their hopes alive for a spot in the ASC post-season tournament held February 24-26. One more win would secure a spot in the playoffs or if both Austin College and UT-Dallas dropped their final two games. Ozarks moves ahead of both Austin College and UT-Dallas in the division standings following Saturday’s games. Austin College (13-10, 10-10) finishes their season with road games at LeTourneau University (Feb. 16) and East Texas Baptist University (Feb. 18). UT-Dallas finishes with home slates against Mississippi College (Feb. 16) and Louisiana College (Feb. 18). The Lady Eagles built a 41-25 lead at halftime only to see the Lady Comets (11-12, 10-10) fight back to within single digits late in the second half. Ozarks appeared to be in control of the game at the midway point of the second half, holding a 62-42 advantage with 11:04 remaining in the contest. UT-Dallas would storm back behind Danielle Barnett’s 24 second half points and eventually chisel the Ozarks’ lead down to 76-72 with 2:07 left. However, Ozarks got clutch free throws from LaTisha McCalister, Erica Eneks and Lindsey Nietert in the remaining 48 seconds of the game to secure their ninth home win of the season. The trio combined to hit 8-of-8 with under a minute to play. Mandi Carter paced Ozarks with 19 points, missing only three shots from the floor. Carter also had a team-best 8 rebounds. McCalister followed with 18 points and Eneks and Jeanne Randall contributed 11 points. Ozarks hit 29-of-35 (82%) from the free throw line. Barnett finished with 38 points and 10 rebounds. The Lady Eagles will travel to Marshall, Texas, to face East Texas Baptist University on February 16. Ozarks then closes out the regular season with a road game against LeTourneau University on February 18.