BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. – The Spring Hill College men's basketball team lost a heart-breaker to Blue Mountain College in a 67-65 Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) decision at Tyler Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The Toppers (8-20, 3-15 SSAC West) clawed out to a 17-13 advantage 10 minutes into the contest, but two field goals by forward Frederick Gatson made it a 17-17 game just two minutes later.
Spring Hill trailed by two points at 28-26 coming into the 2nd half, but Blue Mountain built out a nine-point 58-49 lead with 7:24 to play. A driving layup by Robert Gipson cut the spread down to 60-58, but Stefan Vukovic answered for the Toppers with a 3-point bucket on the opposite end as the Badgers trailed 63-58 with 3:47 to play.
With 49 seconds on the clock Ty McCants knocked down a 3-point basket and then picked up a loose ball and drew a foul to go to the free throw line with 24 seconds left where he drained two free throws to tie the game at 65-65. Shane Butler of BMC then found the basket on a layup with 4.4 seconds remaining to put the Toppers up 67-65.
Gatson put 20 points through the rims and collected 11 rebounds for the Badgers while Robert Drummond added 12 more tallies on the SHC score sheet. The Badgers shot 46.8% (22-47) including 26.7% (4-15) from 3-point distance. Spring Hill controlled the boards 34 to 20, but suffered 15 turnovers against six BMC steals.
Butler paced the Toppers with 14 points as BMC shot 51.2% (22-43) overall and 45.5% (10-22) from long distance. The Toppers committed 14 turnovers, but lost no steals to Spring Hill.
The Badgers (7-21, 6-12 SSAC West) will close out the 2014 season on Saturday afternoon at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center versus the 3rd-ranked William Carey University Crusaders (23-2, 17-0 SSAC West) beginning at 4 p.m. Before the game, Spring Hill will honor its senior players with its annual Senior Day Ceremony.