Clarksville, Ark.- UT-Dallas held off a Lady Eagle rally to earn a 66-62 win in a key American Southwest Conference game on Thursday.
The win gives UT-Dallas the playoff tie-breaker over Ozarks if the two should remain tied at the end of the regular season. UT-Dallas (9-11, 6-9) held a 33-29 halftime advantage, but the Lady Eagles (8-12, 6-9) kept it close for the entire second half and held the lead for most of the final seven minutes of play. Ozarks trailed 46-38 at the 13:08 mark, but promptly went on a huge 15-5 run when Chandra Briggs hit a jumper one minute later. Mandi Carter scored six points during that stretch to eventually put the Lady Eagles up 53-51 with 5:54 remaining. After battling back-and-forth for the next four minutes, Briggs hit two clutch free throws to give Ozarks a 62-60 lead with 1:26 left. However, UT-Dallas’ Erica Baker hit a jumper with 33 seconds left to tie the score and Ozarks was unable to convert on their next offensive possession. The Comets then hit four straight free throws in the waning moments to seal the win. Neither team shot particularly well as both squads hit only 33 percent of their shots from the floor. Carter had another big night, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking five shots. She missed only four shots from the field, hitting 9-of-13 field goal attempts. Erica Eneks had 15 points and Jeanne Randall and Briggs each contributed 10 points. Ozarks will travel to Tyler, Texas, to face UT-Tyler on Saturday.