McKenzie, Tenn. – After a short break for the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Patriot men’s basketball team was back in action on Saturday afternoon when they traveled to the “Volunteer State” to take on Bethel (Tenn.). The Wildcats used their depth to their advantage as they held a 30-11 advantage in bench points en route to a 77-72 victory over the visiting Patriots.
St. Catharine now sits at 2-7 on the year as they dive back into Mid-South Conference play this Thursday when they travel to Cumberland (Tenn.) for an 8 p.m. ET tip-off. Then on Saturday they take on Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 4 p.m. ET.
Chris Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky.) paced the Patriots with a game-high 30 points and five boards. Brandon Bobb Jones (Wilmington, Del.) finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Wildcats (6-1) got off to a quick start after they opened the game on a 10-2 run. St. Catharine quickly answered when Jones sparked a 5-0 run cutting the lead to three. Bethel led by as many as 11 in the final 15 minutes of the opening frame as they took a 35-26 advantage heading to the locker room.
St. Catharine came out firing in the final 20 minutes as they cut the lead to five on two separate occasions, but the Wildcats quickly responded after the lead grew to 16 with 12 minutes remaining. The Patriots cut the lead to as little as three in the final 3:12, but Bethel was able to hang on for the 77-72 win.
Bethel’s hot shooting played a key part in the win as they shot 48 percent (28-58) from the field whereas the Patriots shot just 36 percent (24-65) for the game. The Wildcats also held a 46-38 advantage on the glass.