DALTON, Ga. – The Spring Hill College men's basketball team lost a 74-69 non-conference decision to the Dalton State College Roadrunners at the Northwest Georgia Trade & Conference Center on Monday afternoon.
Spring Hill grabbed a 7-4 lead over the Roadrunners (17-1) just five minutes into the game, but fell behind 9-7 following a 3-point bucket by Sean Tate of DSC. Senior forward Alex Looney of the Badgers answered with a trey of his own on the other end to reclaim a 10-7 lead for SHC with 12:31 to the 1st half clock.
With just under five minutes remaining in the half, SHC held a 26-24 advantage only to see the Roadrunners take a 31-29 lead off two free throws with two minutes to go before the break. The Badgers answered the challenge by clawing out a 34-33 lead going into halftime.
The 2nd half opened with both teams looking to push the ball quickly up and down the court as Dalton State reclaimed a 35-34 lead two minutes into the period and grew their cushion out to 44-36 with 14 minutes to play. The Roadrunners then used quick-handed defense to expand their lead to 10 points at 54-44 with 8½ minutes remaining and 12 points at 60-48 with six minutes to go.
A late rally by the Badgers cut the deficit down to 65-58 with 2:55 to go. SHC junior forward Frederick Gatson then twice made it a three-point game at 68-65 and 70-67 with strong offensive rebounds and put-backs at 1:10 and again with 40 seconds left.
Dalton State converted 4-of-6 free throws over the final 20 seconds to fend off the Badgers for a 74-69 win.
Gatson scored 20 points with 13 rebounds to lead the Badgers as SHC shot 39.4% (26-66) from the field including 18.2% (4-22) from 3-point distance. The Badgers took a 42-37 victory in the battle for rebounds, but hurt themselves with 19 turnovers against 11 steals by Dalton State.
Robert Gipson contributed another 14 points to the Badger cause as Looney and Jarrett Calhoun each added 10 points to the SHC side of the ledger.
Tyrel Edwards scored 16 points as the Roadrunners put five players into the double digit scoring column. DSC shot 42.4% (25-59) and 26.7% (7-26) from 3-point territory. The Roadrunners suffered 14 turnovers as Spring Hill managed to take away just two steals.
The Badgers (1-11, 0-3 SSAC West) will next play a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) contest at the Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) Warhawks (3-8, 1-3 SSAC East) on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the AUM Physical Education Complex.