Georgetown College broke open a 73-73 tie by hitting 6-of-6 from the line in the final 45.1 seconds to win its second straight Mid-South Conference tournament championship with a 79-75 win over St. Catharine College Sunday afternoon at the Frankfort Convention Center.
St. Catharine, 22-8 on the season and seeded second in the event, also received an automatic bid to the NAIA Div. I National Tournament. The Patriots went on a late 8-2 run to tie the game for the first time since 12-all on a free throw by senior Xavier Keeling with 1:10 to play.
But after that, senior Eddie Gray and junior Tyrone Shelley sank two free throws each on consecutive trips, and, after a dunk by St. Catharine junior Kashiff Carr, Gray ended it with two more with 10.8 seconds left. Gray had 13 points and four steals in the win.
Georgetown, 29-4, trailed 41-31 at the break but stormed out of the locker room with a 21-2 run. Six different Tigers scored in the stretch, which began with a basket by junior Maurice Pearson, who ended it with a three-point play with 13:23 left. Pearson had 18 points and six rebounds.
When Shelley hit a three with 11:55 to play, the Tigers had opened the half hitting 9-of-15 from the field while forcing seven Patriot turnovers and a 1-of-9 start from the floor to turn a 10-point deficit into a 57-47 lead.
The Tigers opened the game by scoring the first eight points, with six coming from Pearson. St. Catharine responded with a 12-2 stretch to take its first lead on a layup by senior Ervin Williams with 13:24 to play. Leading 20-18, the Patriots seemed to take command with a 16-5 run over a 5 ½ minute span in the first half, with junior Antoine Watson accounting for the last nine to give his team a 38-23 lead with 3:44 left. Watson led the Patriots with 17 points and pulled nine rebounds in the loss. Georgetown got six straight, four from junior Vic Moses, and was within 10, at the half.
Shelley led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Moses, the Mid-South Conference player of the year, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Watson led four Patriots in double figures, with Keeling, Carr and junior Brandon Johnson finishing with 11 points each. Keeling added 11 rebounds, with five off the offensive glass.