The Spring Hill College men's basketball team fell behind early to the Carver Bible College Cougars and never recovered as the Badgers accepted an 80-78 non-conference loss at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Friday night.
The Badgers, who trailed by as much as 10 points at 26-16 just 12 minutes into the contest, found themselves down by nine points at 43-34 going into the halftime break.
SHC quickly rallied in the second half, however, as the Badgers cut the deficit to 43-40 in just over one minute of playing time.
The Cougars, who never trailed in the game, responded by pushing the lead back out to 10 points at 60-50 with 12½ minutes to play.
In the final minutes of play the Badgers mustered the strength for one final offensive push and managed to file the Cougar advantage down to just two points with two minutes left.
Demetrious Mack gave CBC a 4-point lead off a layup at 80-76 with one minute remaining, but junior guard Brett Williams of Oviedo, Fla., knocked down both end of a double bonus free throw to bring the Badgers back within two at 80-78.
Sophomore guard Todd Martin of Mobile came down with a defensive rebound of a jumper by the Cougars' Nikolas Hood with 16 seconds left, but Martin could not convert on a reverse layup as time expired to give CBC the upset victory.
Freshman center Jake Thelen from Edgewood, Ky., scored 27 points for Spring Hill while Williams added another 22 points for the home team. Senior point guard Stephen Burches had 10 points, but also suffered 10 of the Badgers' 29 turnovers.
Mack put 16 points in the buckets for the visitors from Atlanta, Ga., while Hood had 14 points and Bernard Parks scored 12 points for the Cougars (8-11).
SHC shot 55.4% (31-56) overall and was 29.4% (5-17) from 3-point distance, but could not overcome their turnovers woes - 16 of which were unforced and 13 coming off CBC steals.
The Cougars were 47.6% (30-63) from the field and 31.6% (6-19) in 3-pointers with all six of their treys coming in the first 20 minutes. Carver turned the ball over 18 times against eight SHC steals and rebounds were even at 32 apiece.
SHC (6-3) will next host Concordia College-Selma in a non-conference game beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Outlaw Recreation Center. Earlier this season, the Badgers defeated the Hornets 70-57 in Selma, Ala.