Officially they are known as the Mountain State Cougars. But the NAIA university in Beckley, West Virginia could easily use the San Francisco moniker of Giants – or perhaps they could be the Mountain State Mountains. The Cougars will visit St. Catharine College for a 7:00 tip-off Friday and the home team better make for plenty of leg room on the visitor’s bench.
Mountain State, ranked fourth in the nation, will bring a roster that includes players with heights of 7-8, 7-1, 6-10, 6-9 and 6-7. And that is not all they will bring according to St. Catharine head coach J.T. Burton. “They are really good,” said Burton. “They obviously are huge but they also have an excellent point guard who could start for any team in the nation.”
The Cougars reeled off eight consecutive wins to start the season before losing 87-71 last Thursday at IU-Southeast. They are averaging 92 points a game. The Patriots are 5-2 following Monday’s victory over another ranked team. That win was over the Running Eagles of Life University who is ranked 21st nationally. St. Catharine won that game 95-80. Both of the Patriot losses have been to against Georgetown College who was ranked second in the nation in the first regular season NAIA poll. “It is a big week for us with two ranked teams coming into our place,” concluded Burton. “We were fortunate to win the first one and we know we will be in for a battle in the second game Friday.”