The Spring Hill College men's basketball team dropped a 67-65 non-conference decision to the Saint Thomas University Bobcats at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Tuesday night.
Defense dominated the action for both teams in the first half as the score stood at 27-26 in favor of the Badgers and both squads were saddled with 14 personal fouls at the intermission.
The Bobcats (4-1) came out of the locker room hot and immediately began a high-pressure full court press that resulted in three consecutive backcourt turnovers by the Badgers and turned a 3-point SHC advantage into a 4-point lead by Saint Thomas at 34-30 with 16:50 on the clock.
By the 14:15 mark the Bobcat defense and cold shooting by the Badgers had built a 13-point advantage for the visitors at 45-32.
Spring Hill refused to bow to the pressure, however, and rallied to cut it to a 2-point deficit at 52-50 following a 3-point bucket by junior guard Robert Gipson from Mobile's W.P. Davidson High School at the 8:33 mark.
Junior center Andre Gowins of Gautier, Miss., tied the game at 52 with a layup one minute later as it looked like the Badgers had finally wrestled the momentum into their corner.
Kevin Hincapie of STU would drop in a huge 3-point basket with three minutes remaining to rebuild a 5-point 62-57 lead for the Bobcats, but the Badgers answered the bell with an off-balance trey by junior guard Todd Martin of Mobile's St. Paul's Episcopal School with just 5.1 seconds showing to make it a slim 67-65 STU margin.
The Bobcat in-bound pass following the final SHC timeout was stolen by redshirt freshman point guard Ben Redman of Spanish Fort, Ala., but sophomore guard Robert Drummond's tying jump shot from 16 feet was just off the mark at the buzzer as STU escaped with the 67-65 win.
For Spring Hill, Drummond from Fairhope, Ala., scored his season-high with 19 points while sophomore forward Frederick Gatson added 11 points to the Badger totals. SHC shot 40.4% (19-47) as a team from the field including 26.7% (4-15) from 3-point territory. Spring Hill out-rebounded Saint Thomas 36-31.
For STU, John Nunnally had 19 points while Floyd Battle collected 16 points for the visitors from Miami Gardens, Fla. The Bobcats were 43.8% (21-48) from the field and 28.6% (4-14) in 3-point attempts.
Spring Hill College (1-7, 1-1 SSAC West) will next visit the 6th-ranked Southern Polytechnic State University (3-3, 0-2 SSAC East) Hornets in a cross-divisional conference match at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30, in Marietta, Ga.