The St. Catharine College Patriots opened the second half of the season last week with two conference road games that took on completely different looks, and also different outcomes.
After falling to UVA-Wise in a foul infested game on Thursday, 77-69, J.T. Burton’s bunch bounced back Saturday with a 70-67 win over defending national champion Pikeville in a game where the Bears took only seven free throws.
The Patriots now stand at 7-6 overall and 3-2 in the Mid-South Conference in which they are in third place. Georgetown leads the MSC at 5-0 followed by Lindsey Wilson at 3-1. St. Catharine is back on the road Saturday with a conference game at Campbellsville who carried a 11-5 overall record and a 1-4 conference mark into this week’s games.
In Thursday’s loss the Patriots were unable to overcome foul trouble in falling 77-69 to the Cavaliers. St. Catharine was whistled for 29 fouls that resulted in UVA-Wise taking 43 trips to the charity stripe where they made 25 free throws. The Patriots were 13-21 at the foul line.
Despite the foul problems, St. Catharine still led the game 64-63 with 5:11 to play. But the Cavaliers (4-6, 2-3) took the lead for good with 4:23 remaining. They sealed the victory with seven free throws in the final two minutes.
Kashiff Carr scored 28 points to pace the Patriots but he hit only 10 of 30 shots from the field. Fateen Belfield scored 10 points as he made all five of his field goal attempts.
St. Catharine shot just 39 percent from the field which included 2-16 on three point attempts. The Cavaliers were 44 percent from the field and 4-10 from long range.
The Patriots held a 44-37 rebounding edge led by Travis Wilkins who had nine boards and Carr who had eight. Wilkins, a 6-8 junior, was playing in his first game for the Patriots after gaining eligibility following the fall semester.
Following his initial game on Thursday when he played only 17 minutes due to foul trouble, Travis Wilkins led the Patriots to the 70-67 win Saturday at Pikeville. The center from Spartanburg, SC led the Patriots with 22 points and 17 rebounds, 12 of those boards coming on the offensive end.
After a 31-31 tie at halftime, the defending national champion Bears forged their biggest lead at 62-51 with 6:04 left in the game. Wilkins then scored 10 consecutive points and DeShawn Mitchell scored a layup off a steal and St. Catharine cut the lead to 67-63 at the 2:30 mark.
The Patriots then took the lead for good at 69-67 on a dunk by Stephan Pope with 18 seconds remaining. Following a Bears’ turnover, Pope added a free throw for the final margin.
Pikeville (10-6, 2-4) did not score a point in the final 3:14 of the game as they missed five shots and committed five of the 21 turnovers they had for the game. The Bears shot no free throws in the second half and were 5-7 for the game.
Carr and Mitchell joined Wilkins in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Carr also grabbed eight rebounds as St. Catharine held a 46-44 edge on the glass.
Neither team shot well from the field as the Patriots were 38.5 percent and the Bears were 37 percent. St. Catharine was 6-23 from three point range while Pikeville was 6-20. The Patriots made 14 of 19 free throw attempts.