Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks came away with two victories over University of Texas-Dallas yesterday afternoon in American Southwest Conference action.
The Lady Eagles (9-4), (1-1) defeated UT-Dallas 93-78 while the Eagles (9-5), (2-0) were victorious 65-62. The Lady Eagles started the game with an 8-0 run and controlled the game for the entirety. Holding a ten-point lead throughout the half, Ozarks ended the first twenty minutes with a 47-34 advantage. Dover native Christie Shuffield controlled the inside in the first half as she scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Shuffield was 5 of 6 from the field in the first half and finished with a team high 18 points. She ended the game with 13 rebounds. "It was good to see the way Christie played in the first half," said head coach Jack Jones. "She is playing very aggressive and shooting the ball extremely well. She is going hard to the boards and I was real pleased with that." Ozarks continued to dominate the boards in the second half allowing themselves to score easy baskets. The Lady Eagles held a 61-43 rebounding margin in the game. "I don’t know if we have ever out rebounded anyone like that this season," said Jones. "We have to continue to do that in order to remain in the hunt for the conference title." Two made free throws by U of O’s Melissa Spears ballooned the lead to 82-60 with 4:56 left in the game. Spears hit 7 of 8 free throws in the game and finished with 9 points. Lamar native Mandy Thomas scored 16 points and had 6 rebounds. Jenna Corbell chipped in with 14 points. The Eagles needed a second half come back to outlast the Comets in a hard fought game. UT-Dallas held a 44-28 lead with 15:35 left in the game, but the Eagles slowly climbed back and cut the lead to ten points with 8:45 left. "Our energy and intensity level picked up in the second half," said head coach Matt O’Connor. "We began to take the ball strong to the basket and convert some free throw opportunities. We battled awful hard to pull this one out. To play poorly and still salvage a win is defiantly a plus." Both teams shot a combined 34 percent from the field in the game. Ozarks shot only 17 percent in the first half alone. Ozarks eventually tied the game at 55 with 4:10 left on a Ricky Johnson three-pointer. A Brent Johnson free throw and another Ricky Johnson three-pointer gave the Eagles a 59-57 lead. Brent Johnson would hit two more free throws to extend Ozarks lead to 51-47 with 1:57 left in the game. The Comets cut the lead to one point with nine seconds left, but Ulysses Ruley calmly sank two free throws to seal the win. Ricky Johnson led Ozarks with 14 points and Mandrell Howell scored 10 points. Howell pulled down a team high 8 rebounds. U of O will travel to Marshall, Texas to take on East Texas Baptist University on January 17 in ASC play.