Dustin Henry of the College of Coastal Georgia Mariners made 1-of-2 free throws with 1.8 seconds left on the game clock to send the Spring Hill College men's basketball team to a 72-71 cross-divisional Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) loss at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Saturday evening.
Spring Hill led throughout the 1st half and built as much as an 11-point lead at 34-23 with four minutes before halftime. The Mariners (3-13, 1-5 SSAC East) were able to slice the Badger advantage down to 41-37 at the intermission, but SHC rebuilt a 9-point lead at 64-55 with only 7:33 remaining in the game.
Over the next three minutes, however, CCG would launch a furious 13-0 run that was capped by two Kentorey Johnson free throws that gave the Mariners their first lead at 66-64. Jevan Billinger followed with a basket to make it a 68-64 score in favor of the visitors with 3:50 to play.
Freshman Badger guard Jackson Fos of Abita Springs, La., gave SHC back the lead at 69-68 off a 3-point bucket with 2:30 on the clock and junior guard Robert Gipson from Mobile converted both ends of a two-shot trip to the charity line at 1:03 to maintain a 71-69 Badger bulge.
Billinger tied the game at 71 off a Mariner bucket with 50 seconds left and SHC junior forward Alex Looney of Mobile missed a driving layup at the 15 second mark ultimately resulting in a missed layup by Henry on the other end of the court that was ruled to be a foul under the basket by Looney setting the stage for Henry's heroics with 1.8 second remaining.
Sophomore guard Robert Drummond of Fairhope, Ala., paced the Badgers with 14 points while sophomore forward Frederick Gatson of Riverdale, Ga. recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Looney contributed 11 points to the SHC cause.
Spring Hill shot 37.7% (26-69) from the field and was 23.1% (6-26) in 3-point attempts. The Badgers lost the rebounding battle 43 to 40 and turned the ball over nine times against just three CCG steals.
Reggie Burke of the Mariners led all scorers with 20 points while Billinger had 15 points and 11 rebounds. CCG shot 41.5% (22-53) overall and 32% (8-25) from 3-point territory. The Mariners lost 16 turnovers against six SHC steals.
Spring Hill (3-14, 2-4 SSAC West) will begin its SSAC West Division schedule on Thursday night at Belhaven University (7-10, 4-2 SSAC West) in Jackson, Miss., beginning at 7:30 p.m.