NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Spring Hill College men's basketball team pulled away late to take a hard-fought 78-73 non-conference win over the Southern University-New Orleans (SUNO) Knights at The Castle on Monday night.
After a back-and-forth first half, SUNO (3-6) took a slim 38-35 lead into the halftime intermission.
In the second half, however, back-to-back 3-point buckets by junior guard Brett Williams of Oviedo, Fla., put the Badgers up by one at 43-42 with 15:54 to play.
The Badgers would then build out leads of five and seven points on two separate occasions, but the Knights would battled back both times and cut the advantage to just one point.
SUNO tied the game at 66-66 with less than five minutes to play, but the Badgers used a successful 3-point play by sophomore guard Todd Martin from Mobile's St. Paul's Episcopal School followed by consecutive inside buckets by sophomore forward Alex Looney of Murphy High and freshman center Jake Thelen from Edgewood, Ky. to take a 73-68 advantage with three minutes to play.
Martin scored 19 points including a 4-of-5 night from 3-point territory to lead the Badger charge while Thelen scored 18 points with eight rebounds. Looney and freshman Frederick Gatson each tallied 10 points for Spring Hill on the night.
For Spring Hill, the Badger enjoyed hot-shooting for most of the contest and finished with a 55% (33-60) success rate from the field and a 43.8% (7-16) effort from beyond the arc.
Travous William scored 17 to pace five Knights that reached double-figure scoring as SUNO shot 44.6% (25-56) from the field and 33.3% (6-18) from 3-point range.
The Badgers won the battle of the boards by taking in 32 rebounds and limiting SUNO to 27 rebounds.
SHC (8-3) next visits Ruston, La., on December 29 to face the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech (6-5) in an exhibition contest at 5 p.m.