The Spring Hill College men's basketball team upset the 25th-ranked Faulkner University Eagles in a Southern States Athletic Conference cross-divisional game on Saturday evening at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center by a score of 63-62 for its first conference victory of the season.
Spring Hill refused to allow the Eagles (9-7, 3-3 SSAC East) to build out more than a 5-point advantage in the 1st half, but could not take the lead as Faulkner continually found ways to keep the relentless Badgers at arm's length.
The Eagles held a 34-29 lead at halftime, but Spring Hill rallied on four occasions to tie the game between the 11- and 8-minute marks. The Badgers finally broke through to take a 50-48 lead at 7:23 off a 3-point basket by sophomore guard Jackson Fos from Abita Springs, La.
Maurice Whitely of Faulkner tied the game at 50-50 with two free throws at 7:06, but the Badgers used an 8-1 run highlighted by an acrobatic put-back tip-in by senior forward Alex Looney followed by another Foss trey to build out a 58-51 lead with three minutes to play.
Faulkner would not go away easily, however, as Ayo Madamidola sank a 3-pointer from the right side to make it a 62-59 game with 1:17 to play. After two missed Badger free throws, Madamidola saw his pass miss its mark and sail out of bounds under the basket with just 8 seconds remaining. Fos would then make 1-of-2 free throws on the other end of the court with 6 seconds showing to make it a 63-59 contest. That point would prove to be a game-winner as Cyrille Sandjon of Faulkner made a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the horn sounded.
Fos paced SHC with a season-high 17 points and Robert Drummond added another 12 points with forward Frederick Gatson dropping in 11 more for the Badgers. SHC shot 38.2% (21-55) from the floor including a 33.3% (8-24) effort from 3-point distance. SHC lost the rebounding battle 38 to 32, but limited itself to a season-low 10 turnovers against just four Faulkner steals.
Faulkner's Cyrille tallied 11 points and Ilyasa Salsanov came off the bench to contribute another 10 points for the Eagles. Faulkner shot 38.8% (19-49) and 35.3% (6-17) in 3-point attempts. The visitor's from Montgomery lost 15 turnovers versus four Badger steals.
The Badgers (2-12, 1-4 SSAC West) will next travel to New Orleans, La., to play the 24th-ranked Xavier University (La.) Gold Rush (12-4) in a non-conference contest on Monday in the Convocation Center at 7 p.m.