Clarksville, Ark.-McMurry University hit 20-of-24 free throws in the second half to overcome a 39-36 halftime deficit and slipped past the University of the Ozarks 75-69 in American Southwest Conference play on Tuesday night.
The Eagles (5-7, 4-4) held a narrow three-point advantage at the half and limited McMurry (7-5, 5-3) to only one lead in the first twenty minutes of action. Ozarks jumped out to a 12-7 lead when Ted Beard converted two free throws at the 15:08 mark. McMurry battled back to take a 15-14 lead with 12:53 left. Ozarks then made a nice run when Chris Clark made a three-pointer and Chris Williams hit a jumper and a free throw to give Ozarks a 23-17 advantage with 10:07 remaining. Ozarks pushed its advantage to as many as seven points on two occasions, but McMurry narrowed the gap going into halftime. Ozarks had the lead for most of the second half, including a 67-64 advantage after Habeeb Kareem scored on a layup with 2:31 left. McMurry’s Bud Willis nailed a three-pointer with 1:42 remaining to give them a 68-67 lead and it would be a lead they would never relinquish. McMurry took advantage at the charity stripe in the second half, hitting 83 percent of their attempts. Kareem led Ozarks with 22 points and Chris Clark had 11 points. Ted Beard added 10 points. Clark led with 9 rebounds. Jeremy Clark had 5 assists. Ozarks will travel to Marshall, Texas, to face East Texas Baptist University on January 11 and Longview, Texas, to face LeTourneau University on January 13.