St. Catharine, Ky. – After having nearly four weeks off to celebrate the holidays, the St. Catharine men’s basketball team (5-11, 1-4 MSC) was back in action on Saturday afternoon against Life (Ga.). The Patriots held as much as a 12 point lead in the first half, but the Running Eagles (8-5, 3-3 MSC) battled back in the second half to win 82-78.
Brandon Bobb Jones (Wilmington, Del.) posted his seventh double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky.) and Bryson Harris (Louisville, Ky.) joined Jones in double figures with 19 and 11 points, respectively. Davante Wiltshire (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 boards.
It was the Patriots that got off to a quick start to open the game. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead as they were the beneficiary of a slow start from the Running Eagles. Life opened the first five minutes of the game just 2-of-12 from the field with a pair of turnovers.
St. Catharine took advantage of the slow start when David Jump (Williamstown, Ky.) connected on back-to-back 3’s to build the Patriot lead to its largest of the game, 30-18. Life cut the lead to as little as six, but it was the Patriots who took a 41-33 lead into the locker room.
The Running Eagles came out firing to start the second half as they opened with a 12-3 run to take their first lead of the game at 45-44 just four and a half minutes into the second frame. From that point on it was a seesaw battle with neither team building more than a three point lead.
The final tie would prove to be the difference maker at 73 apiece with 1:46 remaining. Life sank 3-of-4 free throws to take the lead 76-73. The Patriots answered with a layup by Bryson Harris, but Life responded with a trey of their own to extend their lead to 79-75.
The Patriots made one last push when Davante Wiltshire converted an old fashioned three point play to cut the lead to one. After Life sank a pair of freebies, the Patriots put up one last heave when Chris Johnson had an open look from long range, but the shot rimmed out as Life came away with the win, 82-78.
Both teams shot 42 percent from the field for the game. Life connected on 8-of-19 (42 percent) from long range while St. Catharine finished 7-for-24 (29 percent) for the game. Life had four players score in double figures led by Dalarian Williams with 25.
St. Catharine returns to action this Thursday when they host Pikeville (Ky.) at 8 p.m. ET. The Bears are currently ranked No. 2 in the coaches’ poll. Then on Saturday the Patriots take on Cumberlands at 4 p.m. ET in Lourdes Hall.