The Spring Hill College men's basketball team dropped a 71-62 decision to conference foe Xavier University on Thursday night at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.
Xavier (13-9, 4-6 GCAC) took a 35-32 lead into the halftime locker rooms and came out in the second half to build a game-high 9-point lead at 42-33 with just three minutes gone in the half.
SHC whittled away at the Xavier advantage until Badger center Nick Brown tied the game at 48 with two free throws with 10 minutes remaining. A lay up by Chris Dees a minute and a half later would give the Badgers a 52-51 lead.
A decisive 9-0 run by the Gold Rush over the next two minutes would build a 62-54 Xavier bulge as Spring Hill could draw no closer than two points at 64-62 with one minute remaining off two more free throws by Brown. Xavier would hold on at the free throw line by draining their last five attempts to salt the match away.
Brown and senior guard Marcus Coleman each had 15 points for the Badgers. Xavier saw four players reach double digits as Joseph Wanto scored a game-high 18 points, Michael Harvey had 17, Devin Andrew scored 16 and Cordell Hadnot added 10 points. Landon Bussie pulled down nine rebounds for the Gold Rush from New Orleans.
The Badgers shot 41.2% (21-51) from the field and 23.5% (4-17) from 3-point range. Xavier was 44.9% (22-49) and 41.7% (5-12) from 3-point distance.
Xavier won the rebound war 35 to 28. SHC gave the ball away 15 times while XU had 14 turnovers.
Next up for Spring Hill (10-9, 4-6 GCAC) will be William Carey University at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss.