Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks men's basketball team opened their season with an 88-84 loss to Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on Monday night.
Rust held a 38-33 advantage at the half behind a solid shooting effort from the field, hitting 14-of-28 field goals and knocking down 72 percent of their free throw shots. Ozarks (0-1, 0-0) didn’t fair as well, shooting 44 percent from the field, including hitting only 1-of-11 from the three-point line. The Eagles’ defense did create 11 first half turnovers, but Ozarks still trailed by five points going into halftime. Rust came out in the second half and made 20-of-22 free throws to offset an Ozarks’ comeback. The Eagles did outscore the Bearcats 51-50 in the final twenty minutes of play. Josh Joyner led the Eagles with 21 points. Joyner’s scoring effort was aided by an 8-of-12 performance from the free throw line. Habeeb Kareem added 15 points and David Hamilton and Chris Clark scored 13 and 10 points, respectively. Kareem led the team with seven rebounds. Ozarks home-opener will be against conference opponent University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on November 26 at 3:00 p.m.