The Spring Hill College men's basketball team fell to the Bethel University Wildcats 97-91 in a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) shootout at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Saturday evening.
The Wildcats (18-8, 9-6 SSAC West) built out a 39-30 lead at halftime and took as much as 72-51 lead with 8:44 left in the 2nd half when the Badgers began to claw back into the contest. At the 2-minute mark, SHC trailed by just 84-75 following two free throws by junior forward Frederick Gatson. Gatson made it a seven-point game just 15 seconds later with a long jumper from just inside the arc. Sophomore point guard Jarrett Calhoun drained a bucket at 1:13 and the Badgers had fought back to trail by just six points at 85-79.
Bethel, however, made 10-of-16 free throws over the final minute to hold off the furious Spring Hill rally and take the 97-91 victory.
Four Badgers reached double-digits in scoring led by senior guard Robert Gipson's 17 points and junior guard Robert Drummond's 16 points. Gatson and Calhoun each contributed 15 pointxs to Badger cause. For the game, SHC shot 50.9% (29-57) from the floor including 50% (10-20) from 3-point distance. The Badgers out-rebounded the Wildcats by a 38-33 margin, but committed 14 turnovers versus six steals by Bethel.
Bethel was led by Cole Nelson with 23 points and Walt Andrews who tallied 19 points with 10 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 50% (31-62) from the floor and 50% (8-16) in 3-point attempts. Bethel lost just eight turnovers to four Badger steals.
The Badgers (5-20, 4-11 SSAC West) next travel to The Den in New Orleans, La., on Thursday to face the Loyola University (La.) Wolf Pack (5-17, 4-11 SSAC West) at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight Series.