MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Spring Hill College women's basketball team felt the pain of a 64-58 loss at the hands of the Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) Warhawks in a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) West Division game in the AUM Gymnasium on Thursday evening.
The Warhawks (19-7, 11-4 SSAC West) and the Badgers battled hammer and tong through the first 13 minutes of play as AUM clung to an 18-15 advantage with five minutes to play in the 1st half. A 7-0 run by SHC late in the period put the Badgers up 22-20 with three minutes on the clock and the visitors would carry a 26-24 lead into the intermission following a fast break bucket by junior guard Bria Bohanon with 22 seconds remaining.
In the 2nd half, two free throws by the Warhawks' Ashley Rush put the home team back up 30-28 with 17 minutes to play, but a fast break layup by freshman Badger guard Natalie Harper knotted the game at 36 apiece with 14:13 showing.
The Badgers maintained a slim 2- to 3-point lead for the next three minutes and expanded it out to four points at 44-40 via two free throws by junior forward Sha Sha Buchanan with 10 minutes to play. AUM would then wrest back the upper hand with a jumper by Jazmine Jackson to reclaim a 47-46 lead at 7:47 and build a 6-point 59-53 lead with just 2:48 remaining in the game.
SHC sophomore guard Elissa VandeWaa knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a 59-56 game with 2:14 showing and Buchanan would follow with a layup at 1:22 as the determined Badgers made it 59-58.
LaKenya Drayton converted two free throws at 1:01 to give AUM a 61-58 cushion and also blocked a layup attempt by Buchanan at 24 seconds as the Warhawks held on for the win with 3-of-4 final free throws over the final 17 seconds.
Buchanan had 10 points to lead Spring Hill while Drayton paced the Warhawks with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Caitlin Cunningham and Katie Williams each had 11 points for the Warhawk cause.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the nets in the early going combining for a 0-for-13 effort from 3-point distance in the 1st half. SHC ended the night shooting 36.1% (22-61) including 20% (3-15) in treys while AUM was 41% (25-61) from the floor and 21.4% (3-14) from behind the arc.
Spring Hill suffered 13 turnovers versus just two AUM steals and the Warhawks lost 19 turnovers against seven Badger takeaways. AUM dominated the rebounding war 49 to 30.
The Badgers (11-15, 7-9 SSAC West) will next host the Voorhees College Tigers (13-13) in a non-conference game on Saturday in the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center at 2 p.m.