The Mountain State Cougars, a team with the top NAIA resume in the nation over the last eight years, gained revenge over an earlier loss to St. Catharine with a 93-85 win over the Patriots in Beckley, West Virginia on Thursday.
St. Catharine, 11-3, had beaten the Cougars (14-2) 99-86 in December but couldn’t withstand a big run by Mountain State in the second half of Thursday’s contest. The Patriots held a 72-67 lead with eight minutes to play but the Cougars reeled off 15 unanswered points to grab an 82-72 lead with 4:20 to play. St. Catharine never got closer than six points following that rally.
“We weren’t very patient during that stretch,” said Patriot head coach J.T. Burton. “They were hitting everything and we took some hurried shots.”
The Cougars hit a lot of shots in the second half as they shot 53 percent after intermission to pull away from a 40-40 halftime tie. The Patriots shot 37.5 percent in the second half and 36 percent for the game while the Cougars ended at 46 percent.
St. Catharine placed five players in double figures led by Kashiff Carr’s 18 points. Brandon Johnson had 16, Antoine Watson 15,Ervin Williams 13 and Troy Lambert 10. Williams led the Patriots in rebounding with eight but the Cougars won the board battle 51-46.
Doug Wiggins paced the Cougars with 25 points. Tay Spann added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Patriots are back in action Saturday with a Mid-South Conference game at home against Campbellsville University. That game tips off at 4:00, following the women’s game against Campbellsville that starts at 2:00.