Less than four minutes into Thursday’s game at Pikeville, the host Bears turned a St. Catharine turnover into a basket for an 11-9 lead. And that was the story line for the night as the Patriots committed a season high 25 turnovers in falling 87-69 to #2 Pikeville.
After gaining that early lead, the Bears (17-1, 8-1) never trailed again as they built a 42-27 halftime lead. St. Catharine (6-9, 2-7) never got closer than ten points in the second half as Pikeville shot 53 percent after intermission and 52.5 percent for the game.
Despite the lopsided outcome, the Patriots did see some bright spots in the final stats. They held a 36-25 advantage in rebounding helped by the 14 rebounds by Travis Wilkins who also led all scorers with 26 points. They shot a respectable 49 percent from the field and 71 percent (10-14) at the foul line.
But St. Catharine was only 3-13 from 3-point range while the Bears were 6-14. Pikeville’s defense also accounted for 18 steals, converting the numerous Patriots’ turnovers into 37 points.
Trevor Setty, the MVP of the national tournament won by Pikeville in 2011, had seven of those steals as part of an impressive stats sheet. The senior guard had 25 points, a team high nine rebounds and was 7-8 at the foul line.
Arthur McMillan, with 14 points, joined Wilkins in double figures for the Patriots.
St. Catharine now resides at the bottom of the Mid-South Conference standings where they are in a three-way tie with Bluefield and Cumberland University. The Patriots are on the road again Saturday with a 4:00 game at UVA-Wise (9-5, 4-4).