Lindsey Wilson College made just four of 15 three-point attempts in Saturday’s visit to Lourdes Hall. But when Sarah Gillis hit one of those treys three minutes into the second half it looked like the Blue Raiders, ranked 20th nationally, were going to pull away as they increased a 34-31 halftime lead to 42-31.
But that is where the tide turned as the Patriots roared back with a 16-4 run to take a 47-46 lead with 14:13 remaining. From that point neither team led by more than four points until the final seconds of the 81-76 St. Catharine victory.
Janae Howard, who shared team high scoring honors with Kasei Evans at 23 points apiece, sank two free throws with six seconds remaining to give the Patriots a 79-76 lead. Then Howard stole an inbounds pass at midcourt and raced in for a layup for the final five-point margin.
“Coach (Terreka)Walker made a defensive adjustment to stop their point guard from getting to the basket and that was big in allowing us to get two defensive stops late,” said Patriot coach Lena Bramblett.
It was a big win for the Patriots who find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Mid-South Conference standings along with Lindsey Wilson. Both teams are now 3-5 in the MSC which is good for sixth place. St. Catharine is 16-5 overall while the Blue Raiders fell to 14-7.
“It was really a must-win game for us,” added Bramblett. “After losing a tough one on Thursday we had a little meeting and got re-focused on what we needed to do.”
Jasmine Gibson scored 14 points for the Patriots to join Howard and Evans in double figures. The point guard also grabbed eight rebounds to help St. Catharine to a 53-40 edge on the boards. Howard had a game-high 14 rebounds while Evans had seven and Reilly Poirier had six boards. Howard also had a season high five blocked shots.
“We are getting really good minutes from Jasmine,” said Bramblett of the point guard who also had eight assists in the winning effort.
The Blue Raiders came into the game with the leading scorer in the conference in Ashley Rainey who has a 24 point average. But the 6-2 junior was limited to 21 minutes due to foul trouble and scored 19 points before fouling out with 2:49 to play in the game. Jasmine Brimm led the Blue Raiders with 26 points and Monny Niamke added 16 points.
St. Catharine is home again this week for two big conference games. On Thursday the Georgetown Tigers visit for a 6:00 game and Saturday Shawnee State. Georgetown and Shawnee State are both 6-2 in the conference, tied for second place two games behind Cumberlands. Shawnee State is ranked 12 nationally and Georgetown is 18th. The Patriots remain in the “others receiving votes” category.