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Prather_SHUSPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Spring Arbor University men’s basketball team held off a feisty Siena Heights University squad to win 65-59 on Wednesday night and remain unbeaten.


After trailing by 10 in the second half, Siena Heights narrowed the deficit to two with 1:01 left on the clock. However, on the ensuing possession, junior Greg Hamilton made a terrific move, driving to the basket and hitting a layup with 29 seconds to play to help seal the victory.


The win moved the Cougars to 5-0 on the season while the Saints slipped to 2-2.


Siena Heights took advantage of SAU turnovers early, building a 14-13 lead less than eight minutes into the game. However, the Cougars would answer with a 12-2 run, capped by a fastbreak alley-oop from Drew Zuidema to Jimmy Kodet, and would never trail again.


A jumper from Tyler Hughes at the 4:47 mark gave Spring Arbor its largest lead of the game, 34-23, but the visitors would score the final six points of the half and trail 34-29 at the break.


In the second half, the Cougars looked ready to pull away several times, but Siena Heights responded to every SAU to stay in the game.


Sophomore Thomas Starks hit a free throw with 7:44 remaining to give Spring Arbor a 52-42 advantage, but the Cougars would go nearly six minutes without a field goal, allowing the Saints to claw their way back.


Back-to-back buckets from SHU’s George Goodman made it a one possession game with less than a minute to go, but Hamilton answered for the Cougars to hold off the late charge.


Senior Collin Hewitt continued his solid start with a team-high 13 points hitting 3-of-4 shots from behind the arc. Hamilton and senior Xavier Prather followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Starks grabbed eight rebounds to go along with seven points while sophomore Caleb Hogans had six points and six assists.


Goodman paced the Saints with 16 points and Stone Beckwith added 11.


Spring Arbor shot 45 percent (24-for-53) from the field while Siena Heights hit 41 percent (24-for-58) of its shots. The Cougars also got 35 points off the bench compared to just 14 from the Saints.


Up next, SAU will host Alma College on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

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