Saturday at Lindsey Wilson College, the St. Catharine College Patriots split a pair of Mid-South Conference games. The women dropped an 80-67 decision in the opener but the men followed with an 81-69 victory over the Blue Raiders.
Lena Bramblett’s Patriot women (8-13, 3-6) led the game 29-28 at halftime but failed to execute in one important facet during the second half as Bramblett explained.
“We allowed just three offensive rebounds in the first half and in the second half we gave up 13,” Bramblett said. “We just lost our focus and you can’t afford to give anyone that many second chances.”
The Blue Raiders (14-4, 6-2), ranked 15th nationally, ended with a 44-30 rebounding edge. They quickly took the lead 13 seconds into the second half on a trey by Michelle Copley. The Patriots were able to tie the game three times, the final time at 48-48 with 13:08 to play, but could never regain the lead.
“As I have said all year, we have to come ready to play 40 minutes and we didn’t do that,” Bramblett added. “It wasn’t that our effort wasn’t good but we just lost focus of what we needed to do.”
Machera Calhoun, a freshman guard from Florida found what she needed to do with a career high 22 points. She also grabbed four rebounds and had five assists while committing just two turnovers. Courtney Milam and Rianne Hofstraat added 16 and 13 points respectively.
In Saturday’s second game the Patriot men pulled away from a 39-37 halftime lead to cruise by the Blue Raiders 81-69. J.T. Burton’s bunch led by as many as 17 points in the second half as they shot a sizzling 64 percent after intermission.
“We were able to bounce back from Saturday’s loss (at Cumberlands) but this team has done that all year. They are very resilient,” said Burton.
Terrance Withers converted a 3-point play at the 13:24 mark to give the Patriots an 11 point lead and the margin never went our double digits after that. Antoine Watson paced the Patriots with 18 points on 9-13 from the field. Xavier Keeling made six of nine for 16 points and Ervin Williams made all five of his field goal attempts in scoring 14 points.
St. Catharine (13-4, 7-2), ranked 10th nationally, shot 57 percent for the game, the best field goal percentage of the season. Lindsey Wilson (14-5, 5-3) shot 39 percent for the game but only 35 percent in the second half. The Blue Raiders entered the game ranked 23rd in the nation.
“We were able to hold them to just 21 percent from three point range. When we guard like that we have a chance to win any game,” added Burton.