Tatum’s defense gave Spring Hill fits in the early going Tuesday night.
The Panthers settled quickly and responded in a big way.
Behind another balanced attack, Spring Hill used a big second quarter and a couple of key runs from there to take a 69-51 win over Tatum at Panther Gymnasium.
Spring Hill moves to 5-0 with the win while Tatum drops to 0-2 on the season.
Tatum jumped to a 12-point first-quarter lead and held a 10-point lead with five minutes left until halftime.
Tyler Caron and free-throw shooting helped close the gap both times.
Caron, who signed with St. Mary’s University earlier in the day on Tuesday, led the Panthers with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double and had seven points in a in a 9-0 run and 11 in a 30-point second quarter for the Panthers.
Freshman Jay Rockwell was steady throughout for Spring Hill, finishing with 18 points, four rebounds and three steals. Taylor Dishman put the finishing touches on the Panther win with a 10-point, four-steal second half.
Terrance Head had 12 points off the bench for the Panthers.
Spring Hill overcame eight turnovers in the first quarter and finished with 11 overall. The Panthers had a single bucket in the first quarter but got 10 points from the free-throw line. Tatum committed 24 turnovers in the loss.
With a combined 25 fouls at halftime, Spring Hill finished 20-of-25 from the charity stripe through the first 16 minutes and 27-of-34 overall. Tatum hit foul trouble early and finished 7-of-15 from free-throw range.
Trailing by 12 with 2:10 left in the first quarter, the Panthers went on an 11-0 run — all from the free-throw line — to pull within a point, 17-16, early in the second.
Tatum, who was led by a 13-point, seven-rebound night from freshman Jayden Byrd, built that lead back to 10, 28-18, with 5:04 left.
Head made a nice move on a bucket and followed with a putback for the Panthers, who got a three from Caron to spark a 9-0 run for a 32-all tie.
A three from Rockwell from there got a 9-1 run going from the Panthers — highlighted by an emphatic Caron dunk off a steal — for a 42-32 Spring Hill lead at halftime.
Shooting went south both teams in a combined 14-point third quarter on 5-of-22 shooting between the two teams.
A trey from Byrd pulled Tatum to within single digits, 53-45, with 6:51 left.
That’s when Dishman and Caron took over.
Dishman had a bucket and connected with Caron twice in a 16-4 run from there that was capped with a Caron feed the other way for a 69-47 Spring Hill lead.
Sophomore Haden Crowley had 11 points for Tatum, who also got an all-around night from OB Jones, who finished with nine points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Spring Hill heads to the Athens Tournament beginning Thursday. Tatum hosts Center on Friday.