The Spring Hill College men's basketball team began its conference home schedule on Friday night at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center with a 71-64 victory over the Emmanuel College Lions.
In the first half, both teams struggled offensively as Spring Hill managed to take just a 21-18 lead into the locker rooms.
The Badgers came out hot in the second half, however, and made their first six shots and seven of their first eight attempts on route to an 80% shooting streak with a 16-for-20 effort over the final 20 minutes of play.
Emmanuel (5-4, 1-2 SSAC East) fell down by as much as 13 points with five minutes remaining at 57-44, but rallied behind their own hot shooting streak to make it just 63-62 in favor of the Badgers with 46 seconds left in the game.
Two free throws by senior Stephen Burches and four more charity tosses by sophomore guard Todd Martin would ice the game for the Badgers over the final 21 seconds of play.
Freshman center Jake Thelen scored 16 Badger points while freshman Frederick Gatson scored 13 points, junior Brett Williams added 12 and Burches canned 10 points.
Overall, the Badgers shot a sizzling 61.9% (26-42) from the field and 28.6% (2-7) from 3-point land. The Lions shot 37.5 % (24-64) and 24% (6-25) from beyond the arc.
SHC committed 20 turnovers against six EC steals and the Lions fumbled the ball14 times in the face of five Badger steals. SHC edged out the Lions 33-29 in rebounds.
SHC (5-2, 2-1 SSAC West) will next host the Lee University Flames (4-1, 2-1 SSAC East) in a conference game beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Outlaw Recreation Center.