Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks women's basketball team had their season ended by No. 3 Howard Payne University after suffering a 78-52 loss in the American Southwest Conference championship tournament on February 23 in Brownwood, Texas.
Ozarks (9-17, 7-13) struggled from the field, shooting only 34 percent while committing 31 turnovers in the contest. The West Division top-seeded Lady Jackets (25-1, 20-1) trailed only once, 5-4 just a minute and a half into action, and led by as many as 34 points in the second half. Ozarks trailed 25-16 with 11:23 left in the first half, but Howard Payne went on a 12-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 37-18 lead with 5:59 remaining. The Lady Jackets ended the half with a 39-25 advantage. Howard Payne opened the second half with a 14-3 spurt to hold a 55-28 lead at the 15:46 mark. Ozarks was unable to recover and went on to trail by double digits the rest of the game. Ozarks, the ASC East’s fourth seed, was led by Mandi Carter’s 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jeanne Randall added 11 points. The game also had historical significance as Carter became the second leader rebounder in school history (826). She is also the second leading scorer at Ozarks (1,538). Howard Payne won the eight-team tournament on Sunday and will advance to the NCAA III women’s basketball championships.