There was no surprise as to which players scored in double figures Saturday when St. Catharine topped visiting Shawnee State 86-75 in Mid-South Conference basketball action. But beyond the scoring of Delonte Taylor, 21 points, Brandon Johnson, 20, and DeShawn Mitchell, 13, many in attendance may have been surprised by two other players who made contributions when the game’s outcome was still in doubt.
A pair of sophomores, Jawan Demus and Tommy Boyce, connected on all three point shots they took in the game. Demus, who had only been in one game this season and missed his only field goal, nailed two treys late in the first half that helped the Patriots to a 46-35 halftime lead. Boyce, who was 1-7 from the field before Saturday, had a 3-pointer and a free throw in the second half as St. Catharine pulled away to the 11 point win.
“I know they can shoot,” said Patriot coach J.T. Burton. “And I wanted to get them in because you don’t know when later in the season we will need someone who can come off the bench and hit a three for us.”
The Patriots hit many threes Saturday with 12 in 28 attempts. Johnson and Taylor made three each and Melo Smith connected on two treys. St. Catharine shot 43 percent from behind the arc and 50 percent overall as they improved their overall record to 10-8 and their conference mark to 6-4.
"These guys (Demus and Boyce) work hard every day so it is nice to see them get in and make some shots,” added Burton.
The Patriots extended their 11 point halftime margin to as many as 18 points in the second half. The Bears (8-13, 3-7) were able to get within eight points with 3:13 remaining but could get no closer.
The victory put the Patriots just one game behind Georgetown and Lindsey Wilson who are tied for the Mid-South Conference lead at 7-3. Georgetown lost at Campbellsville 79-76 on Saturday and Lindsey Wilson fell 71-70 at Pikeville.
The Patriots play at West Virginia Tech on Thursday in a non-conference game. On Saturday they visit conference rival Rio Grande. The next home game is February 9th against UVA-Wise.