Throughout the season the St. Catharine College Patriots were hampered by turnovers. Often, due to their athleticism and rebounding ability, J.T. Burton’s squad was able to overcome those miscues and still come out victorious. But that wasn’t the case in the Mid-South Conference Tournament opener when 24 turnovers resulted in an 87-82 season ending loss to the Pikeville Bears.
“Only nine of those turnovers came in the second half,” said Burton, “but they came at critical points in the game. Pikeville is in the top five in the nation in scoring and you can’t give them that many opportunities.
For the first 25 minutes of the game it appeared that the Patriots (13-14) might again overcome their floor errors as they held a 49-40 advantage with 15 minutes to play. But Pikeville (25-5) went on a 20-11 run to tie the game with 9:39 to play. The Bears then took the lead for good at the 8:42 mark and led by as many as eight points.
The Patriots were able to cut the advantage to 82-80 with 30 seconds to play but the Bears made five of six free throws down the stretch to claim the victory.
Omar Skinner led St. Catharine in scoring with 30 points. William Tolefree and Dominique Roy added 17 and 13 points respectively. Travis Wilkins, the only senior to play for the Patriots, led the team in rebounding with 12.
“We played well in the first half but just missed too many layups and didn’t rebound as well as we should have in the second half,” lamented Burton following the game.
Pikeville advanced to the tournament finals where they lost to Lindsey Wilson 77-73 in overtime.