The Spring Hill College women's basketball team came within a minute of breaking an 11-game winning streak by Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), but fell just short in a 73-71 non-conference downturn to the Lady Knights at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Monday afternoon.
Just 10 minutes into the game, the Badgers were down by seven at 15-8, but rallied to hold a 28-26 lead at the intermission.
The second half featured a back-and-forth battle that saw four ties and seven lead changes as both teams fought to gain the momentum, but neither team could earn more than a 5-point advantage.
With 31 seconds remaining two free throws by the junior Spring Hill forward Erica Wright of Pace, Fla., left the Badgers down by two at 69-67, but four consecutive free throws over the final 20 seconds by the Lady Knight's Kelly Stewart would seal the win for SUNO.
Freshman forward Sha Sha Buchanan from Mobile's McGill-Toolen Catholic High School led the Badgers with 17 points while Wright put 14 points in the buckets. Senior center Kimarie Bock from Dunedin, Fla., had 13 points and freshman guard Bria Bohanon of Ponchatoula, La., added 12 points.
Freshman guard Tempey Hamilton from Mobile's Murphy High School pulled down 10 rebounds for SHC.
SUNO (12-0) was led by Stewart with 22 points including a blistering 5-of-6 in 3-point attempts. LaTiondra Smith contributed 16 points and Christine Conners had 11 points.
Spring Hill out-rebounded the Lady Knights 41-31, but committed 20 turnovers against 10 steals by a quick-handed SUNO squad. SUNO turned the ball over just 13 times in the face of seven Badger steals.
Overall, the Spring Hill shot 50% (25-50) from the field, but just 12.5% (1-8) from beyond the 3-point line.
SUNO shot 43.9% (25-57) from the field as a team and 50% (5-10) from 3-point land.
Spring Hill (7-10, 0-0 SSAC West) begins conference play on Thursday night at home in the Outlaw Recreation Center when Jesuit rival the Loyola University (La.). Wolfpack (11-4, 0-0 SSAC West) comes to town for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
Thursday's match will be part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight (JBS) Project that uses Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. The JBS Project highlights more than 90 games this season between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Each of the 28 is dedicated to strong academics and teaching women and men to serve others and live a faith that does justice.
Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. The Jesuit educational mission began in Europe approximately 500 years ago.