Patriot men advance with win over Cumberland

The St. Catharine men’s basketball team defeated Cumberland (Tenn.), 69-63, today in the opening round of the Mid-South Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Kentucky.

With the win the Patriots (8-22) advance to the MSC tournament quarterfinal where they will take on top-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) at the Frankfort Convention Center on Friday, March 4th, at 6 p.m. ET.

Brandon Bobb Jones (Wilmington, Del.) posted his 14th double-double of the season with 29 points and 12 rebounds. His 29 points matches his career-high that he set earlier in the year.

Jones wasn’t the only Patriot to post a double-double. Senior, Chris Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky.) finished with his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The duo of Jones and Johnson never left the game playing all 40 minutes.

The Patriots sprinted out to a 13-1 lead to open the game behind some sharp shooting from Chris Johnson and Davante Wiltshire (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Johnson nailed a trey and Wiltshire capped the run off with one of his two triples.

The Phoenix (12-18) answered the run by going on 13-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 14-13. Cumberland held their final lead of the game at 27-26 with 2:16 remaining as from that point on, the Patriots took over.

After Cumberland held the 27-26 lead, St. Catharine closed the half out on a 7-0 en route to a 33-27 lead at intermission. Tyler Smothers (Lexington, Ky.) sparked the run with a three-point play and Jones closed it out scoring the final four points.

Coming out of intermission, Cumberland tied the game up at 44 apiece, but the Patriots had an answer. They responded with another 7-0 to take a 51-44 with 9:39 remaining.

St. Catharine never could put the Phoenix away as once again they battled back. This time they cut the lead down to one on two separate occasions, but every time Cumberland got close, the Patriots had an answer.

This time they answered with a 10-2 run taking their largest lead of the game at 63-54. The Phoenix cut the lead to four, 65-61, but the Patriots hit 4-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the 69-63 win.

Davante Wiltshire and Emory Bennett (Miami, Fla.) joined their teammates in double-figures with 10 points apiece.