Both teams came out firing from behind the 3-point line, with Reinhardt (5-6) jumping out to an early 10-5 lead.
Though the Eagles and Hornets (7-5) traded the lead eight times in the first half, Reinhardt’s early foul trouble allowed Southern Poly to take a slim 40-38 lead into half.
The second half featured more of the same, with both teams running a high-paced fast-break offense, and either side unable to pull away.
The Hornets, however, eventually began to get stops, and with just over 5 minutes to go, they took the lead for good.
With Reinhardt unable to stop Southern Poly’s fast-break offense, it had to resort to long-range 3-point attempts, many of which fell short.
A series of quick baskets by the Hornets gave them an 83-76 lead with less than 3 minutes remaining, and the Eagles were unable to recover.
Southern Poly coach Jeffrey Pourchier, making his return to Waleska after leaving Reinhardt for the Marietta college last summer, felt that it was his team’s will to win that got it the victory.
“I think that this was the best team game we have played all year,” said Pourchier, who coached at Reinhardt for five years. “We battled. It was the first time all season that our kids played hard the whole game. Our kids brought effort, enthusiasm and had heart.”
Southern Poly also beat Reinhardt in Marietta, 87-84 on Nov. 13.
Chase Robinson scored a game-high 24 points for Southern Poly and was 8-of-13 from the field. Shae Varljen was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 15 points. C.J. McElrath led with seven assists.
The Hornets also had a much more successful night from the free-throw line, going 17-for-28, in comparison to Reinhardt’s 4-for-11.
Reinhardt’s Quinton Wood finished the game with 19 points, sinking four 3s.