The Spring Hill College women's basketball team took down the Belhaven University Lady Blazers 76-66 in a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) match at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.
Spring Hill held a 41-32 cushion over the Lady Blazers (8-10, 2-6 SSAC West) at halftime and built out as much as a 49-35 advantage off a layup by freshman guard Amee Smith at 14:32.
Belhaven refused to go away quietly, however, and rallied to cut the deficit down to 68-65 with 1:38 left on the clock. Smith responded to the challenge with another layup off an entry pass from fellow freshman forward Camry Johnson at 1:15 to make it a 70-65 game.
Ariel Wilson of Belhaven made 1-of-2 free throws on the other end of the court, but Johnson collected the rebound of the miss and found Smith down court who then sent an assist over to a streaking senior forward Sha Sha Buchanan for a layup to make it a 72-66 bulge with 48 seconds to play.
Buchanan would ice the game with two more buckets with the first coming off a nice in-bounds play under the basket by guard Elissa VandeWaa at 27 seconds and the second off an assist by Smith with 9 seconds on the clock.
VandeWaa led the Badgers with 14 points while junior point guard Bethany Collins added 12 points as Buchanan and sophomore guard Natalie Harper each dropped in 10 more points for the Spring Hill. SHC shot 39.4% (28-71) from the floor and 30% (6-20) from 3-point distance. The Badgers turned the ball over 17 times against just three steals by Belhaven, but out-rebounded the Lady Blazers 50 to 48 under the baskets.
The Lady Blazers were led by Wilson's 29 points and Erika LeFlore scored another 23 points with 20 rebounds for Belhaven. The Lady Blazers shot 33.3% (21-63) from the field including 16.7% (1-6) from long distance while suffering 14 turnovers in the face of two steals by the Badgers.
The Badgers (5-11, 2-6 SSAC West) will visit Clinton Gymnasium in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Thursday to face the William Carey University Lady Crusaders (3-8, 2-6 SSAC West) at 5:30 p.m.