It is not a game film that St. Catharine College coach J.T. Burton will want to show future teams about playing good basketball. But after giving up a 22 point second half lead and committing 29 turnovers, the Patriots survived to beat visiting Bluefield College 89-86 in overtime in Mid-South Conference action Thursday.
It appeared to be a breather for St. Catharine (13-10, 9-8) who led 67-45 with 12 minutes to play. But the Rams (7-16, 3-14) battled back, outscoring the Patriots 33-11 to send the game into overtime. Kearsten Marion sank two free throws with eight seconds left to tie the game 78-78 and the Patriots couldn’t get a good look at a shot as time expired in regulation.
St. Catharine, however, did regroup in overtime to pull out the three point victory. Travis Wilkins scored the first four points of the extra period to give the Patriots a cushion but the Rams again fought back to tie the game at 86-86 with 50 seconds remaining.
Wilkins then struck again when he converted a three point play at the: 40 mark. Bluefield then missed two field goal attempts but had one more shot to extend the game after Dominique Roy missed two free throws with eight seconds left. But a three point attempt by Devin Page was off the mark and the Patriots escaped for their seventh consecutive win.
Wilkins and Arthur McMillan each had 21 points to lead the Patriots in scoring. Will Tolefree added 14 and Omar Skinner had 12. Wilkins and Tolefree each had 11 rebounds but Bluefield won the rebounding battle 45-43.
St. Catharine made up for the erratic ball handling by shooting 51 percent from the field. They were 5-14 (36 percent) on 3-point attempts and made 16 of 29 free throws (55 percent).
The Rams shot 44 percent (34-78) from the field that included 4-14 (29 percent) from behind the arc. They were 14-17 (82 percent) at the foul line.
The Patriots can now enjoy their seven game winning streak as they have a week off before traveling to #3 Lindsey Wilson (23-3, 13-3) for a Mid-South Conference game February 21st.