Clarksville, Ark.- UT-Tyler needed a jumper in the paint by Shamonica Shead with 13 seconds left to seal a 76-74 win over the Lady Eagles in American Southwest Conference action on Saturday.
<#IMAGE:1#>Trailing 64-58 with 4:44 remaining in the game, the Lady Eagles (8-11, 6-8) went on a 14-2 run over a three-minute span to take a 72-66 lead with 1:55 left. Mandi Carter scored five straight points to start the run. UT-Tyler (12-7, 9-5) quickly fought back to tie the contest at 73-73 with 42 seconds left. Erica Eneks then hit a free throw to put Ozarks up 74-73 with 40 seconds left. The Patriots, however, got back-to-back offensive rebounds on their next two possessions, the second by Shead, who hit a clutch bucket to give UT-Tyler a one-point lead. Ozarks was unable to convert on their next possession and the Patriots then hit a free throw with 4 seconds left to end the contest. It was a battle of two of the ASC’s stars as Carter and Shead dominated stretches of the game. Carter, 6-1, finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. She went 11-of-19 from the field. Shead, 5-10, scored 25 and grabbed 10 rebounds while collecting four steals. UT-Tyler struggled from the free throw line, but still led 41-37 at the half. Ozarks suffered from 24 turnovers. Eneks scored 20 points and dished out 6 assists. “On Thursday against UT-Dallas, we had no focus going into that game,” said head coach Christina Jost. “We had no energy or emotion and it showed. It was a tough loss on Saturday against a good team. We made a couple of mistakes down the stretch that cost us. We gave them a run for their money and came up short in the end. Mandi probably had her best game of the season on Saturday. She played the way she is capable of playing and stepped up for us. She had two big blocks at the end of the game that were key.” “We want to make the playoffs,” said Jost. “We are still in a good position right now. We will take it game by game, but we need to win against UT-Dallas on Thursday. Overall, the team’s effort and hard work on the court hasn’t been a question all year. I’ve been proud of them all season. I’m happy with the way our three seniors have stepped up, too. They have shown leadership from day one. They’ve kept the team together and have been poised on the court.” Ozarks will travel to Richardson, Texas, to face UT-Dallas on Thursday and then on to Tyler, Texas, to face UT-Tyler on Saturday.