The Spring Hill College men's basketball team fell 65-54 to the 10th ranked Xavier University (La.) Gold Rush in a non-conference home game at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Thursday night.
The Badgers started strong and hung tough for most of the first half, even taking as much as a 7-point lead six minutes into the contest at 10-3. The Gold Rush, however, rallied to take a 4-point advantage into the locker room at halftime, but Spring Hill appeared primed for the upset bid.
Xavier, nonetheless, was simply too deep on their bench and used a continual series of substitutions to wear down the shorthanded Badgers. Over a crucial 5-minute run late in the second half, Xavier rattled out to a 16-point 58-42 cushion with just 3 minutes remaining in the game.
The Gold Rush bench outscored the SHC bench 30-17 as the XU depth proved worthy of their No. 10 rating.
Senior center Nick Brown of Rota, Spain, scored 16 points for Spring Hill while junior guard Tyler Schwab contributed 10 points to the Badger effort.
Xavier (23-2) was led by Chris Iles with 16 points and Michael Harvey with 15 points.
The Badgers finished the night shooting a respectable 40.9% (18-44) from the field and 25% (3-12) from 3-point territory, but pulled down just 24 rebounds against a physical Xavier front. SHC turned the ball over 15 times in the face of five XU steals.
Xavier shot a blistering 50% (22-44) from the field and made 47.1% (8-17) of their 3-point attempts. The Gold Rush turned the ball over 17 times while pulling in 32 rebounds.
Spring Hill (7-13, 2-5 SSAC West) will next travel to conference foe Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) to face the Senators (6-15, 3-4 SSAC West) in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on Thursday.