St. Catharine, Ky. -- In an unusual scenario, the St. Catharine women hosted the same team on consecutive days last weekend as the Ave Maria University Gyrenes visited Lourdes Hall for contests Friday and Saturday. The first game went to Megan Dzika’s patriots 67-61 but the visitors took the second game 79-66.
The Patriots (1-3) built a comfortable 45-25 lead in the first game and withstood a determined rally by the visitors from Florida in hanging on for the six point victory. The Gyrenes (2-1) whittled the lead to 64-61 with 27 seconds left but couldn’t convert on their last two possessions and the Patriots made three free throws in the final second to seal the win.
Sophomore guard Miranda Wilson (Corbin, Ky.) led the Patriots in scoring with 14 points. Cora Moore (Louisville, Ky.) and Sasha Ruiz-Lopez (Ft. Myers, Fla.) joined her in double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively. Nikcoa Jackson (Louisville, Ky.) led the Patriots in rebounding with six but the Gyrenes held a 38-25 advantage on the boards.
The victory was the first win for Dzikas in her initial season at the helm of the Patriot program. But she had little time to savor it as the two teams took the floor again less than 24 hours later.
And the second meeting went almost entirely the way of the visitors as they led nearly the whole game. St. Catharine held slim one point leads in both the first and second quarters but trailed 41-31 at halftime.
The Patriots did get the deficit to two points with 5:33 to play but the Gyrenes made 14 free throws in the final minute (20-24 for the game) to even the two game set.
Patrice Tonge (Lebanon, Ky.) had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead St. Catharine and Moore tossed in 14 points. The Patriots were again outrebounded (40-31) and shot just 39 percent to Ave Maria’s 46 percent.
The Patriots are back in action Saturday when they will host Rio Grande at 2:00.