Clarksville, Ark.-To give is better than to receive.
This is the approach University of the Ozarks guard Lacey Phillips takes when she steps on the court. The 5-foot-9 senior from Clarksville currently leads the American Southwest Conference in assists per game (5.7) and has accumulated 297 in her career, fourth-most in program history. Phillips is on the cusp of breaking the school’s single-season assist record, needing just eight more to own the mark that has stood since the 1993-94 season.
“A good-looking pass is way better than any shot in my opinion,” said Phillips. “I like to pass and when I’m out there, I don’t see the defenders, only my teammates. If more than one player scores a lot of points, we are a better team. We will probably win the game if we have several in double figures.”
Head Coach Carl Ramsey is thankful for his senior’s ability to distribute the ball. A guard who can drive and make the pass is much more difficult to cover one-on-one, according to Ramsey.
“Lacey sees the floor so well,” said Ramsey. “She can throw that no-look pass and the pass off the dribble. She can dish the ball when she drives and that makes her real difficult to guard.”
Phillips is more than just a flashy passer. She also displays an all-around game few in the ASC can match. Phillips is one of only two players in the ASC averaging more than ten points, five assists and five rebounds per game. The left-hander is averaging 10.3 points, 5.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game this season.
“She is so versatile in all the things she does,” said Ramsey. “She is a threat to shoot the three, but she can also take the ball to the basket and can slash inside. She doesn’t always lead the team in scoring or rebounding, but she is always among the top three in almost every category. She is consistent.”
For her career, she has 690 points, 292 rebounds and 93 three-pointers. She is a two-time All-Conference performer and received national recognition last season when she was named to the D3Hoops.com Team of the Week.
Phillips, who will graduate in May with a physical education degree, has also had the special opportunity to play college basketball in her hometown. Phillips starred at Clarksville High School and then chose the Lady Eagles over a number of other schools.
“I love playing for my hometown college,” said Phillips. “My family can easily come watch. I know my grandpa said he was thankful that I went here so that he could keep watching me play.”
Phillips still has one thing left on her agenda, and that is to help the Lady Eagles qualify for the playoffs. It would be especially sweet in her final season in an Ozarks’ uniform.
“If we qualified for the playoffs, I would remember that forever,” said Phillips. “This team is so close and the seniors have a great bond. We have been through a lot since our freshmen season. It is amazing to be part of a turn-around. I think that would mean so much to go out with a big bang.”