Clarksville, Ark.-Andre Williams hit an 8-foot jumper with less than one second remaining to send the Eagles to a thrilling 70-68 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor Monday night.
Williams’ heroics moved the Eagles to 2-0 in the American Southwest Conference and 3-3 overall.
Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Dean Pele hit one of his seven three-pointers with 11 ticks left on the clock to tie the game at 68-68. Not to be outdone, Williams took the ball the entire length of the court and dribbled to the right baseline and promptly hit a fade-away jumper from eight feet out to give Ozarks the win. The Crusaders’ desperation heave with .6 second left on the clock was off, giving the Eagles their second straight come-from-behind win.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (1-2, 0-2 ASC) led for most of the second half before Ozarks took a 61-60 advantage on Colby Woolverton’s three-pointer with 3:22 remaining. After the Crusaders took the lead back, 63-61, Woolverton hit a pair of free throws to tie the game with 2:17 left. Josh Odom’s jumper on a fast-break and Blake Mitchem’s two free throws increased Ozarks’ lead to 67-63. A pair of Crusader free throws narrowed the gap to 67-65 with under a minute to play. Odom was sent to the line with just 24 seconds left, hitting one of his two attempts, giving the Crusaders a chance to tie the game, and Pele’s three did just that.
Ozarks controlled most of the first half, building a 24-15 lead at the midway point. Pele kept the Crusaders close with 16 first half points and sent the visitors into the locker room with a 34-31 advantage. Mary Hardin-Baylor held the game’s largest lead (10 points) early in the second half before Ozarks chiseled it down to 44-39 on Mitchem’s layup at the 13:55 mark. Mitchem was a big part of the second half comeback, hitting 14-of-16 from the free throw line, including nailing 9-of-10 with under seven minutes to play.
Mitchem posted his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Woolverton finished with 18 points, hitting 4-of-5 from the three-point line. Williams had 13 points.
Pele led Mary Hardin-Baylor with 29 points. He hit 7-of-16 from the three-point line.
Ozarks will travel to Brownwood, Texas, to face Howard Payne University December 3 and then head to Alpine, Texas, to face Sul Ross State University December 5.