Hipps Does It Again; Lady Eagles Clinch Playoff Spot

Hipps Does It Again; Lady Eagles Clinch Playoff Spot

Clinton, Miss.-Sophomore guard Ashley Hipps hit a clutch shot for the second time in as many games nailing a three-pointer with .8 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime and the Lady Eagles came away with a 79-75 victory against Mississippi College Thursday night.

With nine conference wins, Ozarks (10-14, 9-12 ASC) clinches a playoff spot and moves into sixth place with one regular season game coming against Louisiana College Saturday. Only Concordia University Texas (8-13), Hardin-Simmons (8-13), East Texas Baptist (7-13) and LeTourneau University (7-13) can match the Lady Eagles win total. However, Concordia and Hardin-Simmons play each other Saturday and LeTourneau and East Texas Baptist play each other Monday, therefore only two of the four can potentially reach nine wins. Only the top eight teams qualify for the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament. Mississippi College is ineligible as it moves to NCAA Division II next season.

Hipps capped an incredible comeback for the Lady Eagles, who trailed 63-53 with only 1:34 left in regulation. Ozarks went on an 8-0 run over 45 seconds to pull within 63-61. Ozarks would face a 66-63 deficit with 18 seconds left, but Taylor Farmer scored an inside bucket to make it 66-65 with nine seconds on the clock. Mississippi College would hit a pair of clutch free throws with only 6.8 seconds left, but Hipps drove to the top of the key and nailed a shot from long-range to send the contest into overtime.

With momentum on its side, Ozarks controlled the overtime period even though the Lady Choctaws came within 77-75 with 47 seconds on the clock. Kindra Davis, who posted another double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds, hit two clutch free throws to increase Ozarks' advantage to 79-75 with 20 ticks left.

Tamara Wilkett and Farmer had 19 points apiece to lead Ozarks.