The St. Catharine College Patriots of J.T. Burton were quite disappointed to let Saturday’s regular season finale get away from them as they lost to conference champion Lindsey Wilson. But Burton’s bunch could still play a lot more basketball this season if they can make it through the Mid-South Conference tournament.
St. Catharine, 14-12 overall and 9-7 in the MSC, finished third in the regular season and will play sixth place Campbellsville (20-10, 8-8) in the first game of the conference tournament. That game will be at the Frankfort Convention Center at 8:00 Friday. If the Patriots get by the Tigers they will play a semifinal game Saturday at 8:00 against the winner of the Georgetown/UVA-Wise game. The championship game is at 4:00 Sunday.
In the regular season, Campbellsville beat St. Catharine twice. In Campbellsville the Tigers won 69-53 and two week s ago they won in Lourdes Hall 71-58.
“We just have to shoot the ball better,” said Burton. “We didn’t shoot well against them in either game. And we have to play better defense. We have to stop their guards from penetrating.”
The Patriots shot only 35 percent in each game against the Tigers. And Tigers’ point guard Cedric Henderson had nine assists in each of the Campbellsville victories.
In the regular season finale Saturday at Lindsey Wilson, free throws were the key in the 64-58 loss. The Blue Raiders (20-8, 12-4) were 20-30 from the foul line while the Patriots were 5-6.
“I know at one time they went on a 13-0 run and all of them came on free throws,” said Burton. “We outplayed them in every area except at the foul line.”
The St. Catharine defense definitely stymied the Lindsey Wilson prolific outside shooting. The Blue Raiders are the nation’s best three-point shooting team at 42 percent but on Saturday they connected on just 19 percent (4-21).
Travis Wilkins led all scorers with 18 points and also completed a double-double with a game high 11 rebounds. Melo Smith and Delonte Taylor had 17 and 13 points respectfully for the Patriots who shot 43 percent from the field while holding Lindsey Wilson to 32 percent.
On Thursday the Patriots completed a season sweep of the University of the Cumberlands with a 63-58 win in Williamsburg. Brandon Johnson led three Patriots in double figures with 17 points. Wilkins had 13 and Kevin Kornegay added 12 points.