The St. Catharine “big men” came through in a big way on Thursday night as the Patriots (17-9, 10-6 MSC) outlasted the Campbellsville Tigers (14-11, 9-7 MSC) 99-92 in three overtimes.
With a front line of 6’ 8” and 6’ 6”, the Patriots don’t stray far from the norm for front courts in college basketball. On Thursday night however, the combination of Raymon Austin (Cleveland, Ohio) and William Tolefree (Stone Mountain, Ga.) played as if they were larger than life, combining for 61 of the Patriots 99 total points.
Trailing by seven, the Patriots seemed dead to right with just over one minute remaining in regulation until Nick Porter (Owensboro, Ky.) snatched the ball from the Tigers to find Omar Skinner (New Castle, Del.) on the other end of the floor for the Patriot basket. Half a minute later, Raymon Austin made his presence felt when he forced his way to the basket earning three points the hard way and cutting the Tiger lead to three. The Patriots punched their ticket to overtime seconds later when William Tolefree found the bottom of the net on a shot from behind the arc, causing an eruption in Lourdes Hall.
After playing the Tigers to a stalemate for two overtimes the Patriots would flex their muscle in period three when Austin rocked the rim again to put the Patriots up three with two minutes remaining. Then, following a Tiger timeout, Romeo Lewis (Detroit, Mich.) found his way to the charity stripe to push the Patriot lead to five with a minute remaining. Seconds later Tolefree iced the cake with timely free throw shooting, giving the Patriots their largest lead of the game at seven.
The Patriots will take advantage of a weekend of rest before traveling to Bluefield College on February 27th for their last weekend of conference play before tipping off in the conference tournament.