In two of the most exciting games of the season, the St. Catharine College men and women used last second heroics to pull out two wins Saturday at Pikeville College in Mid-South Conference basketball.
In the women’s game, freshman guard Carol Ruiz-Lopez nailed a three point goal with two seconds to play to give the Patriots a 70-69 win. Brandon Johnson then provided similar fireworks as he canned a trey with 14 seconds left and the Patriots held on for a 71-69 victory.
The win gave Lena Bramblett’s women an overall mark of 11-16 and a conference slate of 6-9. Pikeville fell to 17-9 and 7-8 in the MSC. The Bears led 69-65 with 29 seconds left in the game but Machera Calhoun cut the lead to two points with a layup with 15 seconds left. Then following two missed Pikeville free throws with 12 seconds to play, Ruiz-Lopez hit the game-winner from the top of the circle.
While Ruiz-Lopez provided the late heroics, it was senior forward Danielle Brown who turned in the best numbers of the afternoon. The Hodgenville native had 24 points and 16 rebounds. Eight of her boards came on the offensive end to lead the Patriots to a 51-44 rebounding advantage. Courtney Milam added 17 points for the Patriots and Calhoun had 13.
In the men’s contest, Johnson’s trey culminated a Patriot comeback after they trailed 41-34 at halftime and by double digits in the second half. Following Johnson’s three pointer from the deep corner the Bears missed a chance to tie on an attempt in the lane. Then, after Antoine Watson missed a pair of free throws at 0:07, Pikeville had one more chance but failed to get off a shot.
Watson led the Patriots with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Johnson finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Xavier Keeling and Ervin Williams each had 11 points.
The win gives the Patriots sole possession of third place in the MSC with an 11-4 record. They are 17-6 overall. Pikeville, ranked 24th nationally, fell to 21-6 overall and 10-5 in the conference. The Patriot men are back in action Tuesday with a non-conference tilt in Marietta, Georgia against Life University. Both St. Catharine teams are back in conference play Saturday at Campbellsville University.