The Spring Hill College men's basketball team came within a hair's breath of pulling off an upset of the fifth ranked LSU-Shreveport Pilots on Thursday night, but a driving layup by the Pilots' Lance Davenport as the final horn sounded in overtime gave the visitors an 82-80 win at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.
Spring Hill's Owen McNally sent the game into overtime with two free throws that tied the game at 74 apiece with 0.6 seconds showing on the clock. McNally was fouled as he was attempting a layup following an intercepted inbounds play.
In the overtime, SHC stormed back from a 6-point deficit with 2:13 on the clock when forward Sylvester Twiggs made both ends of his free throws followed by two clutch jump shots by Chris Dees, Jr. The second of Dees' baskets came with 4.2 seconds remaining, but Davenport answered by taking the inbounds pass the distance of the court for the winning points.
The Pilots held their biggest lead of the night at 70-61 with 2:26 left in regulation, but the Badgers mounted a furious comeback capped by McNally's heroics.
LSUS (15-2, 4-1 GCAC) was led by Derrick Parker with 23 points and Davenport's 13 points. Parker added 12 rebounds and Isaiah Brazile recorded a double/double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
SHC had four players crack the double figure scoring mark led by McNally's 16 points and nine rebounds followed by Antonio Burch's 12 points. Center Nick Brown and guard Marcus Coleman each added 10 points.
The game was a classic matchup of the Badgers' outside game versus the LSUS inside game as the Badgers were 28-62 (45.2%) from the field including a sizzling 12-23 (52.2%) from 3-point distance. The Pilots made 32 of their 70 shots (45.7%) and hit just two of their 14 3-point attempts (14.3%). LSUS outscore SHC 52-20 in the paint.
The SHC defense forced LSUS into nine turnovers in the face of four Badger steals while the Pilots forced SHC into 18 turnovers off nine steals. SHC won the rebound war 42-38, but LSUS converted 11 second chance points whereas SHC collected just two second chance points.
Spring Hill (9-5, 3-2 GCAC) will next host No. 16 ranked Tougaloo College (12-1, 4-0 GCAC) at 7 p.m. on Saturday. During the game, Spring Hill College will be accepting donations to the Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund.