Tyler, Texas-The Lady Eagles qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season after posting a 65-64 American Southwest Conference win against Texas-Tyler Saturday.
Ozarks (13-12, 9-11 ASC) needed to win, but also received help from Texas-Dallas, who beat LeTourneau University (13-12, 9-11 ASC), on Saturday. Ozarks finishes tied for fourth-place in the East Division with LeTourneau, but owns the tie-breaker having defeated Texas-Tyler (12-13, 8-12 ASC) twice. Ozarks will be the number four seed from the East Division and play Concordia University Texas (20-4, 18-3 ASC), the number one seed from the West Division, in Pineville, Louisiana, February 24.
“We’ve had to beat Texas-Tyler back-to-back seasons to get in,” said Head Coach Carl Ramsey. “This year was different because we had to win at their place and something else had to happen. We came out ready to play today and played good defense.”
Saturday’s contest came down to the last second as Texas-Tyler had the final possession with .7 seconds remaining. However, the Lady Eagles defense stepped up and did not allow the Patriots to get a shot off.
The Lady Eagles held a 38-29 halftime lead behind April Young’s 13 points. Young drilled three three-pointers, including one at the 9:51 mark to put Ozarks ahead 22-21. In the second half, Young drilled a three-pointer at the 11:26 mark to give Ozarks a 54-44 advantage. Taylor Farmer made a jumper with 7:15 to give Ozarks its largest lead of the game (11 points), but the Patriots went on a 11-0 run to tie it, 63-63, with 48 seconds left. Texas-Tyler then took a 64-63 lead on a free throw, but Ozarks answered when Sabrina Goddard made an inside shot. Ozarks missed a number of free throws in the waning moments that allowed Texas-Tyler scoring opportunities, but the Patriots couldn’t convert.
“We had some big defensive stops down the stretch,” said Ramsey. “I thought Taylor played well off the bench. She really stepped it up. When Sabrina got in foul trouble, she did a great job finishing. April hit some early three’s and gave us a cushion.”
Young finished with 24 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the three-point line. Farmer finished with 14 points.