The pre-game comment by St. Catharine head coach Lena Bramblett indicated that a key to winning Thursday’s Mid-South Conference tournament opener against Campbellsville was her team’s ability to hit shots. Obviously, Bramblett was not talking about hitting just 34 percent which is what the Patriots did in falling 69-59 to the Tigers.
“We just had a bad game shooting and it unfortunately came when we needed it most,” said Bramblett as her team fell to 21-10 for the season. “We forced them into 19 turnovers but we couldn’t capitalize on those.”
Bramblett felt, even with the loss, that her team had a chance to get to the NAIA national Tournament which will be played in the same Frankfort Convention Center that is hosting the MSC tourney. But when Lindsey Wilson defeated Georgetown in a first round game, Bramblett felt the Patriots’ chances were greatly diminished.
“If they take five teams from our conference I would think Lindsey Wilson would get that fifth spot after beating Georgetown,” said Bramblett.
That fifth spot could have belonged to the Patriots had they been able to sustain a second half rally that brought them within six points of the Tigers on two occasions. But neither time could they come up with a big basket to cut further into the Campbellsville lead.
The Patriots trailed by as many as 13 points early in the second half but rode the hot hand of Courtney Milam, the team’s only senior, in mounting a comeback. Milam scored a game high 19 points, all of them in the second half, when she made seven of nine field goals attempts.
When Patriot forward Janae Howard, who had 16 points, made two free throws with 8:23 left to play the deficit was trimmed to six points at 50-44. But Campbellsville (20-11) went on a 10-2 run and St. Catharine never got the lead under double figures again.
The Tigers also didn’t shoot well in the first half at 36 percent, but extended a 32-23 halftime lead by shooting 56.5 percent after intermission. Chelsea Craig led Campbellsville with 16 points.
The teams split the two regular season games, the second contest won convincingly by the Patriots 75-61.