CENTRAL, S.C. – The Spring Hill College men's basketball team took a 73-62 conference win at the Southern Wesleyan University Warriors on Saturday night.
Spring Hill led 38-24 at the halftime intermission behind the 4-of-7 effort of freshman center Jake Thelen of Edgewood, Ky., for nine points and the 4-of-6 work of fellow freshman Frederick Gatson of Riverdale, Ga., for eight more Badger tallies.
By the 15:23 mark of the second half, Spring Hill had dug SWU into a 16-point hole at 48-32. The Warriors rallied to make it 52-40 with 11 minutes remaining, but struggled to pull closer.
For the remainder of the game, the Badgers maintained a comfortable 12- to 16-point advantage until the final minute of play when the Warriors' Nate Miller converted on a 3-point bucket, 1-of-2 free throws and a 2-point basket to cut it to just an 8-point SHC advantage at 68-60 with 52 seconds remaining.
SHC, however, answered the Warrior (3-2, 0-2 SSAC) rally by sinking 5-of-6 free throws over the final 50 seconds to secure the win.
Thelen led Spring Hill with 17 points while Gatson added 12 and junior Brett Williams of Oviedo, Fla., put in 10 points. As a team, SHC shot 49.1% (28-57) from the field and 21.1% (4-19) from the 3-point line.
Kenny Joyner scored 17 points to pace four Warriors who reached double-digits on the scoreboard. SWU was 22-of-51 (43.1%) from the floor and 33.3% (5-15) from outside the arc.
Perhaps the key statistic of the game came under the turnover category where the Badgers benefited from 26 Warrior turnovers off eight steals and converted those turnovers in 21 points on the other end. SWU, on the other hand, earned 20 SHC turnovers off five Warrior steals for 10 points.
SHC (2-2, 1-1) will next visit Selma, Ala., on Tuesday to face the Concordia College-Selma Hornets in a non-conference game beginning at 7 p.m.