The Batesville Bulldogs returned to the hardwood Thursday night against Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe Rushville.
The Bulldogs were in search of their fifth consecutive win and 12th on the season.
Rushville was looking for a boost to turn around some recent struggles, which have left coach Brian Bowen and the Lions with just one win in the last six outings.
Batesville got what it was looking for when the final horn sounded. The Bulldogs outscored the Lions 46-22 over the final 16 minutes to produce a 79-55 victory.
The Lions put together a strong showing in the first quarter and led the No. 9 ranked Bulldogs 19-12 at the end of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-0 lead only to have the Lions storm back and take a 10-7 lead and later the seven point advantage by the break.
It was a team effort in the first quarter. Mitch Laird, Alex Yurack and Cameron Cox each hit 3-pointers, while Bryce Dye and Kris Combs added to the scoring with two point field goals.
Coach Aaron Garrett’s crew regrouped at the quarter break and were more productive in the second. They erased the seven point deficit and took a 20-19 lead on a 3-pointer by Wes McKinney at the 6:24 mark.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Bryan Hoeing pushed the Batesville lead to 26-21.
The first half ended with the score knotted at 33-33.
The Bulldogs scored the first four points of the second half and did not trail again.
Another McKinney field goal prompted a Bowen timeout at the 5:52 mark. It did not seem to change the momentum.
A seven point Batesville lead grew to 12 on a field goal by Nathan Longstreth and later 15 points by the end of the period.
Junior Blake Walsman gave the Bulldogs a spark in the fourth quarter as the Batesville lead jumped to 69-48 with three minutes to play in the game.