UT Tyler and The University of the Ozarks women’s basketball teams each entered Saturday’s game needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and when the final buzzer sounded, Ozarks held a 65-64 advantage.
The Ozarks squandered an 11-point lead in the final seven minutes, but held on at the end to send themselves to the American Southwest Conference tournament with their victory and a 52-39 loss by LeTourneau to UT-Dallas.
Saturday’s game at the Herrington Patriot Center stayed relatively close for most of the first half. UT Tyler held the lead to start the game until a pair of 3-pointers by April Young tied things at six. The Patriots pushed a lead to four on three free throws by Melissa Thomas, her only points of the game, and later led 15-11.
From there the lead changed hands nine times in the 10 minutes of play. Ozarks grabbed a 30-29 lead with 3:09 left in the first half on a basket by Taylor Farmer, and held it until the final minute of the game.
The Lady Eagles locked down on defense in the final three minutes of the half and finished the first half on 10-0 run. Farmer scored six straight points during the stretch and Ozarks led 38-29 at the break.
UT Tyler slowly chipped away at the deficit in the second half, cutting it to four with 15:13 to play. Lindsey Hausmann started a quick 6-0 run with a 3-point shot to help get the Patriots back into the game.
Two minutes later the Patriots found themselves only two points behind after back-to-back threes by Nicole Tucker and Hausmann. But an 8-0 by Ozarks followed the Patriots burst of points to push the score to 54-44 with 11:23 to play. Chelsea Glasscock and Young each hit a three in the run.
Ozarks still held a double digit advantage with 6:59 to play, but from there the Lady Eagles’ offense would become nonexistent.
Tucker began the Patriots’ comeback attempt on the next possession with another 3-point bucket, and followed it with another bucket a minute later. The Patriots scored seven more points without a point from the Lady Eagles and regained the lead with 48 seconds to play.
Hausmann put the Patriots ahead 64-63 on a pair of shots from the charity strip after she was fouled driving to the basket.
Ozarks, however, regained the lead on their next possession.
Sabrina Goddard ended the Lady Eagles’ six-minute scoreless streak on a bucket inside. She also drew a foul on the play, but missed the free throw.
The Patriots missed their next shot and fouled Jordyn Ferrell while attempting to get the rebound. Ferrell stepped to the free throw line for a one-and-one, but missed her first attempt.
UT Tyler picked up the rebound, but an errant pass led to a steal by Young, who darted to the rim for a lay-up. She was intentionally fouled, however, giving her two free throw attempts and the Lady Eagles possession after her shots. But Young missed both free throws to keep it a one-point game.
The Patriots quickly fouled Goddard after the ensuing inbound pass, who also missed a pair of free throws and allowed the Patriots to take a timeout with eight seconds to play and possession on the far end of the court.
UT Tyler quickly moved the ball up the court, but missed the potential game-winning shot. Ozarks picked up the rebound, but traveled, which left the Patriots .7 seconds and one last attempt to win the game.
After a timeout, however, Hausmann’s inbound pass was knocked away to give the Lady Eagles the win.
Hausmann led the Patriots with 23 points in her final game as a Patriot. Tucker followed with 11 points and five rebounds.
Young led all scorers with 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting and six three-pointers. Farmer added 14 points for the Lady Eagles, who shot 50 percent as a team.
The Patriots honored seniors Hausmann, Thomas, Ally Allen, Kayla McGovern, Shamiya Domino and Emily Bechdol after the contest.
Thomas, despite scoring only three on Saturday, leaves UT Tyler as their all-time leading scorer with 1,526 points. She is also the all-time leader in games started, free throws made, 3-pointers made and scoring average.
During her career as a Patriot, Thomas was a team captain for three years, a four-time Academic All-ASC, first-team All-ASC and was named ASC Freshman of the Year for the 2007-2008 season.
“It’s a bittersweet ending,” Thomas said. “I’m not happy about it ending this way, but I’ve had a good career.”
The Patriots end their 2011-2012 campaign with a 12-13 record and an 8-12 record in the ASC.
The Eagles improve to 13-12 and 9-11 in the ASC East and gain the fourth spot in the playoffs. Louisiana College, UT Dallas and Mississippi College gain the other three berths in the East.
Concordia-Texas, McMurry, Howard Payne and Hardin-Simmons are representatives from the West.
The ASC tournament is Feb. 24-26 in Pineville, La. The winner earns a berth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
UT Tyler Men Beat Ozarks But Miss Out On ASC Tournament
The UT Tyler men closed out the 2011-12 basketball season with a win, beating The University of the Ozarks 89-80 on Saturday at the Herrington Patriot Center.
While the Patriots had a chance at a playoff berth, a win earlier in the afternoon by Mississippi College eliminated them from the postseason.
“It was disappointing to have to end it here,” fifth-year head coach Kenny Bizot said, “but we had seniors that played big tonight to make sure they got that last win.
“I felt like we have a nice team, we just couldn’t get it all together on the same page at times.”
With just under nine minutes to go in a tie game, the Patriots (8-17, 7-13 in the ASC) converted two three-point plays in less than 90 seconds.
Larry Carpenter and Darren Houliston both scored in the paint and made their free throws, and UT Tyler would not trail Ozarks (9-16, 6-14 ASC) again.
While the Patriots honored their seniors before the game, they were led in scoring by two underclassmen. Junior Houliston scored 24 points in his 25 minutes, and added 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.
Houliston also set a season-high mark for rebounds as he was averaging 8.5 per game, breaking the old UT Tyler single-season high of 8.3 set by Patrick Branche in 2004-05.
Freshman Billy Hopson added sixteen 16, including hitting 9 of 10 from the free throw line.
“I got them both over to the side at the end of the game,” Bizot said, “and just let them know that they’ll be back, and we’re going to end things better next year.”
Senior Brandon Levine scored 13 points, and senior Jacob McDonald added 10.
The Patriots shot 51 percent from the floor, including 62 percent in the second half.
Senior point guard Carpenter scored nine points and had a game-high three steals.
Between games the seniors and their families were honor. The five seniors honored were McDonald, Levine, Carpenter, Lance Murphy and Spencer Denmon.
-- Reid Kerr