Cold shooting from the field was the major factor in the two basketball exhibition losses for the St. Catharine College Patriots against NCAA Division-I opponents last week. J.T. Burton’s squad dropped an 85-51 decision Thursday at Southern Mississippi and then fell 71-54 at Morehead State on Saturday.
The two games were tune-ups for the regular season opener at IU-Southeast on Wednesday and the home opener Saturday against Grace College from Indiana.
At Southern Mississippi, led by former SC coach Donnie Tyndall, the Patriots shot just 25 percent in the first half and trailed 44-18 at the intermission. They found the range somewhat in the second half with 43.5 percent from the field to finish the game at 34 percent.
Omar Skinner paced the Patriots with 17 points on 6-11 from the field. Marquis Lee and DeShawn Mitchell each added 10 points.
Southern Miss blistered the nets at 57 percent from the field. The Golden Eagles placed six players in double figures led by Rashard McGill and Dwayne Davis with 14 points each.
The Patriots shot slightly better at Morehead at 38 percent but kept the game close into the second half thanks to a better rebounding effort. After getting beaten on the boards 42-21 at Southern Miss, St. Catharine was outrebounded just 39-35 Saturday.
After trailing 31-27 at halftime the Patriots trimmed the lead to just one point at 33-32 three minutes into the second period. But a 20-5 run by Morehead gave the home team a 53-37 lead and the Patriots never got closer than 12 points after that.
Mitchell led all scorers in the game with 16 points and Skinner added 10. Terrance Smotherman didn’t score for St. Catharine but the 6-5 freshman forward led all rebounders with 12.
Jason Holmes led the Eagles in scoring with 13 points and Drew Kelly and Kahlil Owens had 10 each.
The regular season opener Wednesday against IU-Southeast in New Albany, Ind. starts at 7:30. The home opener Saturday begins at 4:00.