HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Spring Hill College women's basketball team fell to the William Carey University Lady Crusaders 49-46 in a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) match at Clinton Gymnasium on Thursday evening.
Neither team could break onto the scoreboard in the early going until senior guard Tempey Hamilton knocked down two free throws at 17:43 to make it a 2-0 SHC lead.
The Lady Crusaders (4-8, 3-6 SSAC West) went ahead 5-4 at 14:18 off a 3-point bucket by Erin Holifield from the right side. Carey held an 11-6 lead just two minutes later off three interior layups under the rim.
Carey maintained a five-point lead by the 6:38 mark in the 1st half with a 16-11 advantage, but pulled out to a 26-18 bulge with two minutes until the intermission.
With Spring Hill trailing 30-20 at halftime, the 2nd half started much like the 1st with neither team scoring for the first two minutes until Badger senior forward Sha Sha Buchanan put the ball through the hoop to make it a 30-22 contest. The visitors from Mobile would rally to cut the score down to 36-30 by the 13-minute mark and 36-35 by the 11-minute mark off two free throws by Buchanan.
Carey pulled back out by five, but guard Armanee' Broussard of SHC dropped in a 3-pointer from the top of the key at 7:08 to make it just a 43-41 Crusader lead. Natalie Harper knotted the game at 43-43 at 3:58 with a nice jumper from midrange on the left-hand side and Broussard gave SHC the 44-43 lead at 1:38 with 1-of-2 free-throws.
Haleigh Arcement answered for Carey with a basket on the other end as the Crusaders regained the 45-44 advantage with just 1:09 left to play. Tiffany Sims made it 47-44 WCU with 41 seconds on the clock. Elissa VandeWaa's layup for SHC at 17 seconds kept the Badger hopes alive, but Sims drained two free throws for Carey to make it 49-46 with only 7 seconds remaining as a final 3-point attempt by Bethany Collins popped out of the basket after going everywhere but through the net.
Buchanan led the Badgers with 10 points and seven rebounds. SHC shot 40.5% (15-37) from the floor and 18.2% (2-11) from 3-point distance, but turned the ball over 27 times against 11 steals by Carey. Spring Hill out-rebounded the Lady Crusaders 36 to 33 on the boards.
The Lady Crusaders were led by Sims with 12 points and Ciera Sibley with 10 points as Carey shot 37.3% (22-59) from the field including 16.7% (2-12) from long distance while suffering 19 turnovers against eight steals by the Badgers.
The Badgers (5-12, 2-7 SSAC West) will visit Crisp Arena in McKenzie, Tenn., on Saturday to face the 16th-ranked Bethel University Lady Wildcats (13-6, 6-3 SSAC West) at 2 p.m.