WALESKA, Ga. – The Spring Hill College women's basketball team suffered a 64-63 non-conference overtime road loss to the Reinhardt University Eagles on Tuesday night.
The Eagles (1-1) and the Badgers fought tooth and nail from the opening tip with the 1st half featuring 11 ties and neither team managing more than a 3-point lead at any time. Two successful free throws by sophomore guard Elissa VandeWaa of Spanish Fort, Ala., with 27 seconds on the clock sent the game into the halftime locker rooms knotted at 30-30.
The first five minutes of the 2nd half mirrored the 1st period with the squads trading the leading on three occasions and tying the game three more times, but the Badgers clawed out a 42-39 advantage at the 12:07 mark when junior guard Bria Bohanon of Ponchatoula, La., connected on a jumper in the paint.
Consecutive 3-point buckets from the top of the key by sophomore guard Bethany Collins of Apex, N.C., and VandeWaa staked SHC to a 51-42 lead with 9:40 remaining in the game as the Badgers built out the largest lead of the game.
Reinhardt had rallied to make it a 51-46 game when junior guard Jamesha Watkins drained yet another 3-point Badger basket from the left side to stretch it back to a 54-46 spread.
Another Eagle rallied cut the SHC lead down to 54-52 with 1:57 showing on the clock when a block by Collins led to a 1-for-2 free throw effort on the other end by freshman center Leah Washington of Houma, La., to spot the Badgers to a 55-52 lead at 1:15.
With 31 seconds remaining Bohanon was whistled for an offensive foul that ultimately resulted in a successful 3-point play by Reinhardt's Tara Hay on the other end of the court with 17 seconds left to send the game into overtime at 55-55.
Senior center April Bradford of Pensacola, Fla., and Hay open the extra time by trading a pair of free throws to make it 57-57 with 3:10 remaining. At 2:30 Sarah Hewett of the Eagles made a free throw line jumper to give Reinhardt 61-60 advantage then a 3-of-6 free-throw performance over the final two minutes would give the Eagles a 64-60 lead with 8 seconds left. Badger freshman guard Natalie Harper of Greensboro, N.C., knocked down a 3-point bucket at the buzzer for the final 64-63 score.
Bohanon, Collins and Harper each scored eight points for Spring Hill as 11 of 12 Badgers scored in an impressively balanced attack. Bradford collected 12 rebounds while Washington pulled in 10 boards.
As a team, the Badgers shot 30.2% (19-63) from the field and 34.8% (8-23) from 3-point range. Spring Hill suffered 20 turnovers against nine Eagle steals.
Hay dropped in 16 points for Reinhardt and Taylor Johnson roped 10 rebounds as the Eagles out-rebounded the Badgers 47-43.
The Eagles were 37.7% (23-61) overall in shooting and 40% (4-10) from behind the 3-point line.
Spring Hill (1-2) will host the Cumberland University (Tenn.) Lady Bulldogs (3-0) on Saturday in a 4:30 p.m. non-conference contest at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.