Belton, Texas-Mary Hardin-Baylor built a 42-27 halftime lead and then had to weather a strong second half run by the Eagles in a 89-72 American Southwest Conference win Saturday.
Ozarks (2-8, 1-5 ASC) made nine field goals in the first half, while the Crusaders (7-2, 5-0 ASC) hit 14 shots from the field and hit all nine of their free throw attempts to maintain control of the contest. The Crusaders had a double-digit lead five minutes into the game and then extended the advantage to 40-23 on a three-pointer with two minutes left.
Ozarks erased a double-digit lead in the second half behind the strong play of Ronnie Dodd. Dodd, who scored 17 points in the second half, scored seven points in the opening three minutes to pull the Eagles within 45-36. At the 10:35 mark, Andrew Cummings made a layup to put Ozarks within 58-52. Ozarks hung around for the next several minutes and again had the deficit to six points on Jermery Victor’s three-pointer. However, the Crusaders went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes to take control of the game. For the game, Ozarks hit 19-of-19 from the free throw line.
Dodd went a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line to lead Ozarks. Cummings and Victor each finished with 11 points.
Ozarks will host Rhema Bible December 18 and then will not play again until January 3.