Even after a somewhat sluggish performance, it appeared that the Patriots would pull out a win over visiting Bluefield College when they mounted a comeback that gave them a 62-58 lead with 5:23 to play. But the Rams ended the game on a 13-6 run to pull out the 71-68 Mid-South Conference victory.
The victory gave Bluefield (16-11. 8-9) a sweep of the season series as they earlier topped the Patriots 64-50. The loss dropped St. Catharine to 18-8 overall and 10-7 in the Mid-South Conference where they now are in fifth place.
The Patriots trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half before rallying to take the lead. And, after the Rams regained the lead, they still had a chance to send the game into overtime but Janae Howard’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer barely missed.
One statistic sealed the doom for Lena Bramblett’s team as they hit only 16 of 33 free throw attempts (48.5 percent) which included 12 misses in the second half. The Patriots shot just 32 percent from the field that included 6-19 (32 percent) from 3-point range.
Bluefield shot 41.5 percent overall and was 50 percent (3-6) from behind the arc. The Rams sank 14 of 19 free throws for 74 percent.
Janae Howard led four Patriots in double figures with 23 points. Machera Calhoun had a season high 18 points and Reilly Poirier and Rianne Hofstraat had 15 and 12 respectively. Poirier had 16 rebounds as St. Catharine held a 52-46 rebounding edge and Hofstraat, fourth in the nation in blocked shots, had a season high six blocks.
The Patriots are idle until February 21st when they resume Mid-South Conference play at Lindsey Wilson (15-11, 6-10). On December 1st St. Catharine edged Lindsey Wilson 73-69