In Mid-South Conference basketball Saturday afternoon at St. Catharine College, the visiting Rio Grande Bears earned a split of the two games. Rio Grande topped the Patriot women in the first game 77-62 but the St. Catharine men won over the Rio Grande men 72-67.
Rio Grande gained an early lead in the women’s game and never relinquished it as they held a double digit advantage most of the second half after leading 36-29 at the intermission.
The Bears (15-9, 6-6) shot 41 percent for the game while the Patriots connected on 37 percent from the field. Rio Grande held a 40-35 rebounding advantage and committed 23 turnovers to the Patriots’ 22. Jenna Smith paced the Bears with 22 points.
St. Catharine was led by Danielle Brown with 17 points and nine rebounds. Rianne Hofstraat added 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.
The loss dropped the Patriots to 9-16 overall and 4-9 in the Mid-South Conference.
In the men’s game the Patriots were facing a Bears’ team who came into the game with an 0-10 slate in the conference and an overall mark of 5-17. But the win didn’t come easy for J.T. Burton’s team who shot just 39 percent from the field.
St. Catharine led by 12 points with only 1:06 left in the game but Rio Grande battled back to cut the lead to 70-67 with five seconds to play. Brandon Johnson then made two free throws for the final five point margin.
Kashiff Carr led the Patriots with 26 points on 10 of 15v shooting from the field. Johnson was 4-9 on three-point attempts for 14 points and Xavier Keeling added 10.
The Patriots improved to 15-6 overall and 9-4 in the Mid-South Conference. They are currently tied for third place with Pikeville in the conference. Georgetown is 11-2 and second place Cumberlands is 9-3. They face two crucial road games this week in the conference when they travel to UVA-Wise on Thursday and Pikeville on Saturday.