Clarksville, Ark.-East Texas Baptist University overcame a 44-36 halftime deficit to earn a 75-71 victory over the Lady Eagles in American Southwest Conference play on Saturday.
Ozarks (1-14, 1-9) stormed out of the game early, leading by a score of 17-2 at the 15:04 mark. The Lady Eagles continued their double-digit advantage for the next ten minutes behind the hot hands of Emma Cantele and Erica Eneks. East Texas Baptist (6-8, 5-5) slowly cut into the deficit, making it 34-27 with 3:26 left and went into the locker room trailing 36-44. It was a different story in the second half, though, as the Lady Tigers hit 58 percent of their shots, while Ozarks made just 25 percent of their attempts from the field. The Lady Tigers would eventually take the lead, 49-48, with 13:54 left in the game. Ozarks got the lead back when Olivia Fisher made a jumper with 9:04 remaining. After battling back-and-forth, Karen Garcia hit one of two free throws to tie the contest at 69-69 with 2:08 left. Garcia would again tie the score at 71-71 with a layup at the 1:05 mark. But that would be the final made shot for the Lady Eagles the remainder of the game. Ozarks did have the ball with nine seconds left with the score tied at 71-71, but the Lady Tigers forced a turnover and made an easy layup to seal the game.
Ozarks shot 20-of-24 (83%) from the free throw line, but couldn’t overcome making just seven field goals in the second half.
Four players were in double figures for Ozarks, with Eneks leading the way with 17 points. Fisher had 13, Garcia added 12 and Cantele contributed 10. Fisher led the team with 9 rebounds.
The Lady Eagles will travel Clinton, Mississippi, to face Mississippi College on January 24 and Pineville, Louisiana, to face Louisiana College on January 26.