As the jostling for conference tournament seedings heats up, the St. Catharine College Patriots helped their cause Thursday with a 69-59 win over visiting UVA-Wise. The Patriots ((15-7, 9-6) gained sole position of fifth place in the Mid-South Conference and pulled ahead of sixth place Cumberlands by two games.
The Cavaliers (7-26, 4-10), now in tenth place among the 11 conference teams, kept the game close throughout the first half but still trailed 38-30 at the break. But following two Machera Calhoun free throws three minutes into the second half, the patriots gained a 10 point lead and the cavaliers never got the deficit under double figures the remainder of the game.
Janae Howard led the winning effort with 26 points. Calhoun added 12. Rianne Hofstraat had just four points but led the Patriots to a 38-24 rebounding advantage with 11 boards. Hofstraat, among the national leaders in blocked shots, had three blocks in the game.
The St. Catharine victory avenged an earlier 71-64 setback at UVA-Wise last month. The Patriots now prepare for another home conference game when Pikeville (8-15, 4-10) visits Saturday for a 2:00 tip-off.