JACKSON, Miss. – The Spring Hill College women's basketball team lost a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) West Division contest at Belhaven University by a 75-58 score at Rugg Arena on Thursday evening.
Spring Hill jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but the Lady Blazers (7-9, 4-3 SSAC West) responded with a 8-0 run of their own to make it 8-7 just three minutes into the contest. For the remainder of the half, the Badgers and Blazers traded several scoring runs as SHC held a 25-18 advantage with 3½ minutes left in the period and took a 29-25 lead into halftime.
While the 1st half featured the outside-shooting game, both squads shifted gears early in the 2nd half and began to work on their inside games with players finding more success driving the baselines. The Blazers fought back to tie the game at 37-37 with 13 minutes to play and took their first lead of the 2nd half at 41-39 off an Alisha Rayburn layup at the 12-minute mark. BU would then build out a 52-45 lead via an Erika Leflore jumper at 8:13.
Belhaven's bulge swelled to 15 points at 63-48 as the SHC offense struggled down the stretch, scoring only 17 points over the final 11 minutes of play.
Freshman guard Natalie Harper of Greensboro, N.C., knocked down four of her first five shots for Spring Hill and ended the night with 14 points.
Ashley Wakefield of Belhaven scored 22 points in the 2nd half for a total of 26 points in the game. Rayborn also scored 16 points while Leflore put 18 points in the baskets with 14 rebounds for the Blazers.
Spring Hill shot 32.8% (21-64) from the floor including 25% (4-16) from the 3-point arc while suffering 20 turnovers against eight Blazer steals. Belhaven was 45.6% (26-57) overall and 33.3% (2-6) from long distance as the Badgers took away six steals resulting in a total of 16 turnovers for the Blazers. Belhaven won the rebounding battle 41 to 39.
The Badgers (6-10, 3-4 SSAC West) will next host William Carey University (7-7, 3-4 SSAC West) on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. in the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.