The Spring Hill College men's basketball team came up a just bit short in a 75-72 conference home loss to the 20th-ranked Faulkner University Eagles on Saturday evening at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.
The Eagles (19-3, 10-1 SSAC West) held a 43-30 halftime advantage and built out as much as a 58-41 bulge with 12:25 remaining on the 2nd half clock.
Spring Hill, however, refused to throw in the towel and began to whittle away at the Eagle lead with accurate outside shooting and strong defensive rebounding. By the 40-second mark, the Badger trailed by just four points at 71-67 when back-to-back jumpers by junior guards Todd Martin for two points and Robert Gipson from 3-point distance made it a 74-72 Faulkner lead with 3.3 seconds to play.
Faulkner's Lante Phillips then made the first of two free throws on the other end, but missed the second. Badger freshman Jackson Fos corralled the rebound and threw an outlet pass to Martin who launched a game-tying half-court attempt that appeared to have the accuracy, but drew just enough of the back iron to bounce out and preserve the Faulkner victory.
Junior forward Alex Looney scored a career-high 26 points to lead all scorers. Looney also hauled down 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Gipson additionally reached the double-double mark with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Martin pitched in 17 points and Fos contributed 11 points, including three late 3-point buckets during the Badger rally.
The Badgers shot 37.3% (22-59) overall and were 38.5% (10-26) in 3-point attempts while out-rebounding Faulkner 41-36. SHC suffered 12 turnovers against eight Faulkner steals.
Faulkner had four players reach double-digit scoring paced by Jake Mitchell with 14 points. The Eagles were 47.8% (22-46) from the floor including 33.3% (5-15) from 3-point distance. They turned the ball over 13 times with the Badgers taking away six steals.
Spring Hill (4-17, 3-7 SSAC West) will visit archrivals the University of Mobile Rams (11-8, 5-6 SSAC West) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the H. Austill Pharr Gymnasium.