Throughout her team’s six game winning streak, St. Catharine head coach Lena Bramblett has often credited her team with “just finding a way to win” after falling behind in many of those games. But Saturday at UVA-Wise, the Patriots never found the way as they trailed from the outset in falling 71-64 to the Cavaliers.
Even Saturday it appeared that the Patriots (12-5, 6-4) might find the path to victory as they never let the lead get out of hand. When Janae Howard sank two free throws with 3:41 remaining, St. Catharine trailed by only four at 64-60. But a 7-2 spurt by the Cavaliers decided the outcome, sending the 25th ranked Patriots to their first loss since December 8th.
UVA-Wise (6-12, 3-6) was led by Chelsea Cluesman who had 24 points and 13 rebounds. Janae Howard led the Patriots with 28 points and nine rebounds. Reilly Poirier had 17 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Point guard Heather Sandlin had eight rebounds and also eight assists.
The Cavaliers shot 45 percent for the game which included 57 percent in the first half when they built a 41-37 lead. St. Catharine shot 34 percent for the game.
The loss dropped the Patriots into a tie for fourth place in the Mid-South Conference with Shawnee State, one-half game behind third place Georgetown. The Patriots are back in conference action this week with two more road games. Thursday they are at Rio Grande (6-13, 0-10) and Saturday they visit Shawnee State (15-5, 6-4).