The Spring Hill College men's basketball team closed out the 2013-14 season with an 84-73 Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) loss to the 3rd-ranked William Carey University Crusaders at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Saturday evening.
The Crusaders (24-2, 18-0 SSAC West) took a 42-36 lead into the locker rooms at halftime, but could not completely shake a determined Badger squad in the 2nd half. Carey managed to battle out to an 11-point advantage at 59-48 with nine minutes left to play. Spring Hill would reel the score back down to seven points on several occasions late in the game only to see the talented Crusaders respond with a bucket on the opposite side of the court. In the end, a 7-of-9 performance at the free throw line by Carey over the final two minutes sealed a hard-fought victory for the visitors from Hattiesburg, Miss.
For Spring Hill, senior guard Robert Gipson, sophomore guard Jarrett Calhoun and junior forward Frederick Gatson each put 13 points in the baskets while junior guard Robert Drummond and senior forward Alex Looney each dropped in 10 points for the Badgers. Gatson added a game-high 10 rebounds. The Badgers shot 50% (28-56) including 29.4% (5-17) from 3-point distance. Spring Hill won the rebounding battle 34-30, but suffered 16 turnovers against nine Carey steals.
Carey was led by Donovan Walker with 19 points, Kelvin Nixon with 18 points and Daron Bell and Jeremiah Dunnings each added 16 points. The Crusaders shot 53.2% (25-47) overall and 40% (6-15) from 3-point distance. Carey committed 16 turnovers to six steals by Spring Hill.
The Badgers closed out the year with a 7-22 mark overall and a 6-13 record in the SSAC West Division. The game also marked the final NAIA men's basketball game for Spring Hill as next year they move to NCAA Division II as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).