Clarksville, Ark.-No. 22 Mississippi College overcame an Ozarks' run late in the game to escape with a 74-70 American Southwest Conference win Thursday night.
Mississippi College (15-2, 11-2 ASC) led 67-58 with 5:19 remaining in the game, but Ozarks (7-11, 5-8 ASC) scored seven straight points to get within 67-65 at the 3:46 mark. A pair of Andre Thomas free throws put the Choctaws in front 69-65 with 2:24 on the clock. A Blake Mitchem jumper just seconds later pulled Ozarks even closer. Mississippi College increased its advantage to 73-67 with only 1:23 remaining, but Mitchem hit a free throw and then later ignited the Ozarks’ crowd with a dunk to make it a one possession game with 58 seconds on the clock. Mississippi College missed on their next possession with 15 seconds left, giving Ozarks a chance to tie the game. But the Eagles’ three-point attempt with eight seconds left was just off the mark and Thomas was able to sink one-of-two free throws to secure the win. Mississippi College used its size advantage to out rebound Ozarks 44-26 in the game.
Ozarks held the lead for about ten minutes in the first half before Mississippi College took a 32-25 advantage late, the largest lead by either team in the first twenty minutes of action.
Mitchem led Ozarks with 30 points. He went 12-of-21 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. Andre Williams had 13 points.
Saturday’s game against Louisiana College has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Ozarks will travel to Clinton, Mississippi, to again face Mississippi College February 4.