Clarksville, Ark.- The University of the Ozarks women's basketball team fought off a pesky Mary Hardin-Baylor squad for a 75-69 win in American Southwest Conference play on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Eagles (2-1, 1-0) used a run late in the contest behind some clutch free throw shooting to earn a victory in their home-opener. Mary Hardin-Baylor (0-2, 0-1) held a narrow 40-38 advantage at halftime and continued that lead for most of the second half. Both teams shot well from the field in first half play, with Ozarks canning 14-of-26 (53%) from the field and Mary Hardin-Baylor hitting 17-of-34 (50%). After a back-and-forth first half, the Lady Eagles tied the contest at 55-55 with 9:35 remaining when Becky Kimball hit a three-pointer. Erica Eneks then hit a long-distance shot moments later to put Ozarks up 58-56. The Lady Crusaders, however, tied the game for the tenth time when Shannon Barnes scored with 1:52 left. Ozarks promptly nailed six straight free throws following Barnes’ field goal to secure the win. LaTisha McCalister, Eneks and Mandi Carter all hit a pair of free throws in the final two minutes. Ozarks ended the game hitting 10-of-15 (66%) from the free throw line. McCalister led the team with 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor. The freshman forward came off the bench and had a team-high 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Carter followed with 13 points and Olivia Fisher rounded out Ozarks’ balanced scoring with 11 points. Chandra Briggs recorded a team-best 6 assists. Ozarks will host Concordia-Austin in ASC play on November 28 at 5:30 p.m.