RUSTON, La. – The Spring Hill College men's basketball team dropped a 69-41 exhibition decision to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Thursday evening at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half and the score stood at 13-8 in favor of the Bulldogs (8-6) with 11:20 on the clock. A 4-minute scoring drought then followed that was not snapped until a 3-point bucket by Tech found the bottom of the net at 7:14.The Badgers responded with a 6-point spurt of their own over the next two minutes to make it 16-14 for Tech with five minutes to go in the period.
Senior guard Steve Edwards of Newton, Miss., knotted the score at 19 with a 3-pointer at the 3:28 mark, but the Bulldogs ran off the final seven points of the half to take a 26-19 lead into the locker room.
Two quick 3-point baskets by the Bulldogs to open the second half put Spring Hill in a 32-21 hole, but the Badgers answered with a 6-point run to make it a 32-27 deficit at 16:46.
The Bulldogs then went on a decisive 13-0 run over the next 3½ minutes to make it 45-27 with 12:14 to play. Tech would build out as much as a 22-point advantage at 59-37 with four minutes remaining.
Freshman forward Frederick Gatson of Riverdale, Ga., scored 14 points with five rebounds to pace the Badgers while Raheem Abbleby tallied a double-double for the Bulldogs with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Kenyon McNeail also scored 14 points for Tech and Brandon Gibson pulled down 10 rebounds.
Overall, Spring Hill shot 40% (18-45) from the field, but was just 1-of-9 (11.1%) from 3-point distance. The Badgers also allowed 11 steals by Tech for a total of 22 turnovers that the Bulldogs converted into 31 points on the other end while SHC took away 10 steals to create 16 turnovers by Tech resulting in 17 points in transition.
Under the baskets, Spring Hill was outmuscled 48-28 in rebounding as the Bulldogs took in 23 offensive rebounds and converted them into 31 second chance points.
Tech shot 39.1% (25-64) overall, but was an outstanding 10-of-29 (34.5%) in 3-point attempts on the night.
SHC (8-3, 3-1 SSAC) will next travel to Marietta, Ga., on Friday, January 6, 2012, to face 13th ranked Southern Polytechnic State University in a conference game with the Runnin' Hornets (9-2, 4-0) beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST.