Clarksville, Ark.-Mary Hardin-Baylor broke open a tight halftime score to earn a 82-66 victory over the Lady Eagles in American Southwest Conference play on Saturday.
The Lady Eagles (1-12, 1-7) relied on its outside shooting in the first half while the Crusaders (8-4, 6-2) used a solid inside game to hold a narrow 39-36 lead at intermission. Ozarks hit 6-of-8 (75%) from the three-point line in the first half, with Erica Eneks nailing back-to-back three’s early in the contest. Ozarks held the lead early in the game, but the Crusaders slowly built a 23-13 advantage with 10:31 left. Ozarks fought back, and got the score within 25-22 over the next four minutes. After trading baskets the next five minutes, Ozarks’ Karen Garcia nailed a three-pointer with 51 seconds to cut it to 36-35. However, the Crusaders answered with a three of their own to give them the lead at the half.
Mary Hardin-Baylor opened the first five minutes of the second half with a 25-5 run to lead 54-43. The Crusaders then went on to hold a double-digit lead the rest of the game as Ozarks struggled to cut into the deficit. Molly Patterson closed the gap to 66-52 when she hit a pair of free throws with 6:41 left. But that would be the closest Ozarks could get in the final minutes. The Crusaders were aided in the second half as the Lady Eagles hit 9-of-32 (28%) from the field.
Eneks led Ozarks with 22 points. She finished 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and recorded 5 steals. Chandra Briggs followed with 13 points, and Patterson and Garcia each had 10 points. Patterson had her best day as a Lady Eagle as she also collected 8 rebounds.
Ozarks will host LeTourneau University on January 17 at 5:30 p.m. The game can be heard on the web at www.kxio-fmradio.com.