St. Catharine, Ky. -- Things looked good for the St. Catharine men’s basketball team after they took a 42-41 lead into the locker room, but visiting No. 1 Pikeville (Ky.) was able to rally in the second half to come away with the 92-79 win in Lourdes Hall on Thursday night.
The Patriots (5-12, 1-5 MSC) had four players score in double figures led by Brandon Bobb Jones (Wilmington, Del.). Jones posted his eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Emory Bennett (Miami, Fla.) notched a new season-high with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Chris Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky.) and Davante Wiltshire (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) pitched in with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
The Patriots got off to a hot start to open the game after they jumped to a quick 12-5 five minutes into the game. Midway through the first frame, the Patriot lead grew it largest of the game at 23-14.
The last few minutes of the first half saw the two team’s trade baskets. The Bears (17-1, 4-1 MSC) cut the lead to two, but the Patriots would storm right back with a run of their own to expand the lead back out to seven. The Patriots were able to maintain a 42-41 lead at the break.
The start of the second frame was the opposite of the first half. This time it was the Bears who went on a 7-0 run right out of the break to take a six point advantage. The Patriots cut the lead to three with 15:54 remaining, but then saw the Pikeville lead balloon to 12 with 10:05 left. From that point on St. Catharine never got closer than seven as Pikeville won it 92-79.
The Bears turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and forced the Patriots into 20 turnovers for the game, while they turned it over just eight times. Pikeville was able to turn the Patriots’ miscues into 28 points.
The Bears also got a big lift from their bench that scored 44 points, while the Patriot reserves scored just five with a limited bench. The big difference was the charity stripe where Pikeville went 21-for-28. St. Catharine had half the attempts making 10-of-14.
St. Catharine will have little time to tend to their wounds as they are back in action on Saturday against Cumberlands (Ky.) with tip-off set for 4 p.m. ET.