St. Catharine, Ky. -- The St. Catharine men’s basketball team (6-16, 2-8 MSC) put an end to their six-game skid on Saturday afternoon when they earned their second victory in conference play with a 65-62 win over Shawnee State (Ohio).
The Patriots lead by 10 with 4:23 remaining, but they had to fend off a furious rally from the visitors. The Bears had a chance to tie the game when they trailed by three with 20 seconds remaining, but their final two heaves bounced off the rim as the Patriots escaped with the win.
The Patriots had three players score in double-figures led by Emory Bennett (Miami, Fla.) who finished with 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field. Bryson Harris (Louisville, Ky.) hit some timely 3’s down the stretch finishing with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep.
Brandon Bobb Jones (Wilmington, Del.) was the only other Patriot to score in double-figures with 11 points. Davante Wiltshire (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) only scored four points, but he dished out a team-high seven dimes in the win. Jones added six assists to with his 11 points.
The Patriots got off to a hot start jumping out to a 7-0 lead, but the Bears battled back with a 9-2 run tying the game up at 9-9. From that point on it was a seesaw battle that saw four ties and seven lead changes, but it was Shawnee State that took a 30-27 lead at intermission.
In the second stanza the Patriots came out firing after they came out and took a 37-36 lead. They expanded their lead to double-digits when they went on a 9-0 run taking a 46-36 lead. Harris capped the run off with one of his five triples.
The Bears cut the lead to seven on two separate occasions following the run, but they saw the lead balloon to 15, 58-43, with 9:27 left to play. From that point on the Bears (10-11, 4-5 MSC) slowly began to chip away at the lead, but the Patriots held on for the 65-62 win.
It was a tale of two halves for both teams. In the first half the Bears shot 50 percent while the Patriots shot just 33 percent, but in the second frame the Patriots torched the nets shooting 59 percent while they turned up the defensive pressure holding the Bears to just 31 percent shooting.
St. Catharine will step out of conference play on Tuesday when they travel to Barbourville, Ky. to battle Union (Ky.). They return to league play on Saturday, February 6th, when they host Campbellsville (Ky.) at 4 p.m. ET in Lourdes Hall.