The Patriots had an idle week to help mend minor bumps and bruises incurred over the tough season. And Lena Bramblett’s team made the most of the recovery time with an impressive 75-61 win over the Campbellsville Tigers who came into the game ranked 20th nationally.
The victory gives the Patriots a 21-7 overall record and a 7-7 conference slate. Campbellsville is 18-10 overall and 8-6 in the Mid-South Conference. Shawnee state leads the MSC at 13-2. They are followed by second place Cumberlands (12-2) and Georgetown (11-4). Campbellsville holds down fourth place while St. Catharine is fifth.
Those standings are likely to be scrambled as key games abound in this final week of the regular season. St. Catharine is involved in two of those key games. Thursday they travel to Cumberlands and Saturday they visit Lindsey Wilson who currently trails the Patriots by just one game.
“There is a whole lot that can still happen,” said Bramblett. “We can finish anywhere from third to seventh place. They will be two tough games against excellent teams.”
Saturday’s game was against another excellent team s the Campbellsville came into the game with an 18-9 record. And the Tigers looked like they would live up to the billing as they streaked to an 11-4 lead to start the game. But the Patriots bounced back to tie the game at 14-14 on a Reilly Poirier basket.
From that point, most of the remaining first half was a close affair. But the Patriots went on an 8-2 run to close the half, leading 33-27, and never trailed after intermission. Courtney Milam, who shared team scoring honors with Janae Howard with 18 points, sank two free throws to start the run. Stacie Shrout added two free throws and Jasmine Gibson closed out the first half with two layups.
St. Catharine led by just three points with 7:49 to play in the game but scored 23 points down the stretch to secure the decisive 14 point win.
“We really didn’t play that great overall but we did play excellent defense the entire game,” added Bramblett. “I had to call a timeout after that bad start and just get our players to relax.”
The final numbers support Bramblett’s thoughts on her team’s defense. The Tigers shot 28 percent from the field and were 3-14 from behind the arc. They did shoot well from the foul line at 87 percent (26-30).
St. Catharine shot 43 percent from the field and was 4-14 on three-point attempts. The Patriots were 70 percent (21-30) from the foul line. Following Howard’s and Milam’s 18 point outings were Kasei Evans with 11 points and Gibson with 10. Howard completed a double-double with a game high 14 rebounds.