Basketball (M)

Kashiff Carr paced the Patriots with 24 points.Kashiff Carr paced the Patriots with 24 points.

Patriots advance in MSC tourney

Second half surge sinks Bears

Second-seeded St. Catharine College scored the last five first-half points to begin an offensive explosion that lasted more than 14 minutes en route to an 82-59 win over No. 7 seed WVU Tech Friday afternoon at the Mid-South Conference Tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center.

The win sent the Patriots, the nation’s 18th-ranked team, into a Top 25 showdown in the semifinals of the MSC Tournament. They will play No. 24 Pikeville, seeded third, at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Frankfort Convention Center. The winner of that game will play in Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET conference championship game.

St. Catharine (21-7) went on what would be a 42-14 outburst that lasted 14:27 and turned a 32-28 deficit into a 70-46 lead with 6:19 to play. The Patriots would cruise from there, blowing open what had been a tightly-contested first half of play. St. Catharine easily won a game in which it shot only 38.9 percent overall and 21.7 percent from the arc. But 20 offensive rebounds allowed the Patriots to shoot the ball 14 more times than the Golden Bears, and they were 21-of-27 from the free throw line for the game.

Junior Kashiff Carr had 18 of his game-high 24 points before halftime. The first-team all-conference selection finished one rebound shy of a double-double. Junior Antoine Watson followed with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pats, while junior Marquis Lee followed with 13 markers. Watson and Carr led St. Catharine to a 49-38 advantage on the glass.

WVU Tech (14-16) was paced by junior Rashon Tabb, who had 16 of his 20 points in the first half. He was 4-of-5 from the floor, hit both three-point shots and all six free throws by halftime. He managed to hit only two of his six shots in the second half.

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