Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team had not played a game in 12 days and it showed early on, but the Cowboys rallied for an 83-77 win over the University of the Ozarks on Thursday evening in the American Southwest Conference and home opener at the Mabee Complex.
Ozarks used some hot shooting to race out to a 25-16 lead. HSU responded with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 25 with 8:51 to play in the half. Matt Sinclair had seven of the nine points in the run in his first action as a Cowboy.
The game was still tied at 37 with 2:54 to play when Ozarks closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 47-39 advantage into halftime. Ozarks hit 7-of-10 3-pointers in the first half.
In the second half, HSU came out and established its dominance in the paint. HSU hit five straight layups and tied the game at 49 all with 17:07 to play. Ozarks kept making shots and led 66-58 with 10:41 to play in the game.
That is when the Cowboy defense tightened down and Ozarks went almost six minutes scoring only three points and HSU took its first lead of the second half with 4:55 to play on a Sinclair jumper. The teams traded baskets and were tied at 75 when Eric Taylor hit a 3-pointer to give the Cowboys a 78075 lead with 2:29 to play. HSU never trailed again.
Darius Singletary led five Cowboys into double figures with 18 points. He also had eight assists, five rebound and five steals. John Derr had 14, Sinclair had 13, Taylor had 12 and Titus Mims added 11. George Nelson had eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds
Ronnie Dodd led the Eagles with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Joshua Clark added 12 points and Jeremy Victor chipped in 11.
HSU is now 2-1 on the year and 1-0 in ASC action. Ozarks fell to 1-5 and 0-2 in league play. HSU will host UT-Dallas at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.