On their way to a potential upset Wednesday at Morehead State University, something peculiar happened to J.T. Burton’s St. Catharine College Patriots. They stopped scoring. Trailing just 49-48 with 12:26 to play, the Eagles outscored the Patriots 30-2 over the next 10 minutes en route to an 89-54 win in the exhibition contest.
Burton, however, didn’t find the situation all that peculiar as he faced Morehead head coach Donnie Tyndall who he played for when Tyndall led the St. Catharine program in 1996-1997. “Donnie lost an exhibition game (to NAIA member Mountain State) the week before and he wasn’t about to let that happen again,” said Burton. “You might have a chance if you can catch them in that first game but you give Donnie a week to prepare after a loss and it is going to be tough to beat his team.”
Through much of the first half it looked like Burton might claim a victory over his former coach. The Patriots jumped out to a 17-7 lead and still held a 32-30 advantage with three minutes left in the first half. But Morehead closed out the first half with a 10-2 run for a 40-34 lead.
The Patriots seemed to regroup at the intermission and regained the lead less than three minutes into the second half. But the Eagles took the lead for good with 16:08 to play on a Kahlil Owens’ layup and then embarked on their huge run four minutes later.
Morehead did much of its damage from long range where the Eagles made 12 of 22 three point attempts. The Patriots were 4-21 from behind the arc for 19 percent. St. Catharine also committed 20 turnovers, 15 of them in the second half, while the Eagles had only 10 miscues for the game.
Brandon Johnson and Stefan Pope both had 12 points to pace the Patriots. DeShawn Mitchell and Kashiff Carr each scored 11 points. Pope led the Patriots on the boards with eight rebounds but the smaller Eagles held a 39-32 rebounding edge.
The Patriots return to action at home Sunday when they will host Cumberland University at 4:00. Cumberland handed St. Catharine an 84-75 loss last week in Lebanon, Tennessee.