Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks men's basketball team fought off a 32-30 halftime deficit to upend UT-Tyler 72-63 in American Southwest Conference play on Thursday night in Tyler, Texas.
Ozarks (7-6, 7-3) was aided by a 20-point, 12-rebound effort from sophomore center Habeeb Kareem. Kareem scored 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the second half alone. Kareem scored 7 points in the first three minutes of play in the second half to cut the deficit to 38-37. A Brad Johnson steal and layup at the 16:39 mark gave Ozarks a lead they would never relinquish. The Eagles stretched their lead to as many as 15 points late in the half after a Scott McCall free throw with 1:53 remaining gave them a 66-51 advantage. Ozarks took advantage of their free throw opportunities, hitting 35-of-42 (83%) of their attempts at the line. Kareem’s 20 points led Ozarks while Johnson and McCall each contributed 13 points. David Hamilton scored 12 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Johnson had 4 steals and 4 assists. UT-Tyler drops to 4-8 overall and 4-5 in league play. Ozarks travels to Richardson, Texas, to face UT-Dallas on Saturday.