MOBILE, Ala. – The Spring Hill College men's basketball team lost a non-conference game to the 25th-ranked Xavier University (La.) Gold Rush by a score of 71-66 on Tuesday night at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.
The Gold Rush (9-3) and the Badgers went toe-to-toe with each other throughout the 1st half, changing the lead seven times with 11 tie scores including a 33-33 tally on the scoreboard going into halftime.
Spring Hill's outside shooting went cold in the 2nd half, however, as the Badgers hit just 4-of-15 3-point attempts following the intermission. As SHC lost its touch from long range, the Gold Rush got hotter making two 3-point buckets to open the second period en route to building out a 50-40 lead with 11 minutes left to play.
The Badgers continued to fight and cut Xavier's 11-point lead at the 1-minute mark down to five points with 32 seconds to play highlighted by two consecutive 3-point shots by senior guard Robert Gipson. The Gold Rush responded to the threat by making 7-of-10 free throws over the final 30 seconds to keep the Badgers just out of reach and secure the final 71-66 victory.
Gipson scored his season-high of 21 points to pace Spring Hill on offense while fellow senior Alex Looney added 10 points. The Badgers shot 39.6% (19-48) from the field and 32% (8-25) from 3-point distance in the game. SHC controlled the boards by a 36 to 28 margin in rebounding, but turned the ball over 14 times against seven steals by Xavier.
Xavier Rogers led five Gold Rush double-digit scorers with 17 points as Xavier shot 44.2% (19-43) from the field and 58.3% (7-12) in 3-point attempts. The Gold Rush suffered 11 turnovers versus seven Badger steals.
The Badgers (0-10) will next host the Tennessee Temple University Crusaders (7-3) from Chattanooga on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.