Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks women's basketball team will play No. 3 Howard Payne University in the American Southwest Conference championship tournament on February 23 at 6:00 p.m. in Brownwood, Texas.
<#IMAGE:1#>The winner of that game will play the winner of the Hardin-Simmons/Mississippi College contest on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Howard Payne will host the entire eight-team tournament since they are the number one seed out of the ASC West division. The Lady Eagles have advanced to post-season play with head coach Christina Jost accomplishing this feat in her first year as head coach. The Lady Eagles (9-16, 7-13) finished the regular season in fifth place in the ASC East division, but received the fourth and final seed since UT-Tyler (2nd-place) was not eligible for post-season play. Howard Payne defeated the Lady Eagles 94-52 on November 25 in Clarksville and have been ranked among the top ten teams in NCAA III for most of the season. “This will be a tough game,” said Jost. “They are a great team and are very well coached. They play a good zone defense. We need to find a way to get some good ball movement against that zone and hit some shots. They like to push the ball. But we also like to play that style.” “I am especially happy for our seniors,” said Jost. “They have put in their time for the women’s basketball program. They deserve to get to the tournament in their last year. Making the tournament was one of our goals at the beginning of the season, and I am happy that we have accomplished that. We feel like the program is going in the right direction.” The Lady Jackets are led by All-American guard Meia Daniels, who is averaging 16.6 points per game. Ozarks counters with a trio of players scoring in double figures. Seniors Mandi Carter and Jeanne Randall are two of the top scorer’s in the ASC. Carter is the team’s leading scorer (17.6) and rebounder (8.2). Randall has also been productive, averaging 15.8 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game. Junior guard Erica Eneks is averaging 12.5 points per game. A tournament website has been setup at www.hputx.edu/howardpayne.aspx?pgID=1889.