The Spring Hill College men's basketball team lost to the Loyola University (La.) Wolfpack in an SSAC match on Saturday evening at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center in an 85-81 decision.
Loyola (14-8, 6-7 SSAC) took a 40-33 advantage into halftime, but the Badgers stormed out of the locker rooms to claim a 47-46 lead off a 3-point basket by sophomore guard Todd Martin of Mobile at the 13 minute mark.
For the next eight minutes of play the Badgers and the Wolfpack battled each other to five lead changes and four ties before consecutive misses by SHC freshman center Jake Thelen of Edgewood, Ky., and senior point guard Stephen Burches of Hammond, La., resulted in three free throws on the other end of the court by the Wolfpack's Corey Gray to give Loyola a 79-73 lead with 53 second remaining.
Gray finished the Badgers off by converting on five of his next six free throw attempts to close out the 85-81 Wolfpack victory.
Thelen recorded his sixth double-double night of the year with 25 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore forward Alex Looney of Mobile added 16 points and Martin tallied 12 more for the Badgers. Burches handed out a Spring Hill season-high 13 assists.
Loyola was paced by Gray with 27 points including an 8-of-11 performance from the charity stripe in the second half. Cameron Cates scored 20 points and McCall Tomeny added 18 for the Loyola cause.
The Wolfpack shot 48.2% (27-56) from the field and 42.9% (6-14) from three-point distance. Loyola also out-rebounded the Badgers 37-34.
Spring Hill (10-10, 5-8 SSAC) will next host the Auburn-Montgomery (AUM) Warhawks (5-17, 2-10 SSAC) in an SSAC West Division contest on Thursday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center beginning at 7:30 p.m.