Conference races heating up for St. Catharine men and women

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By The Staff

SCC Sports Information


Mid-South Conference standings (Men)

Team Conference/Overall

Pikeville 6-2/19-3

Campbellsville 6-2/18-6

Georgetown 5-3/17-6

Cumberlands 5-3/16-7

St. Catharine 4-4/16-8

West Virginia Tech 3-5/13-10

Lindsey Wilson 3-5/12-12

Rio Grande 0-8/5-19

Mid-South Conference standings (Women)

Campbellsville 8-0/23-1

Cumberlands 7-1/18-6

Georgetown 5-3/14-9

Rio Grande 5-3/14-10

Lindsey Wilson 4-4/14-8

Pikeville 2-6/14-10

St. Catharine 1-7/7-17

West Virginia Tech 0-8/9-14

While it is still February, the madness that is March has already set in on the St. Catharine College basketball programs as the Patriots scramble for a top seed in the upcoming Mid-South Conference tournaments to be played March 4-7 in Frankfort.

The St. Catharine men took one step toward a better seed Thursday with a road win at Lindsey Wilson and looked poised for a giant leap when they took a big lead at Cumberlands, only to see the lead disappear into a loss Saturday. Meanwhile, the St. Catharine women, still besieged by injuries, limped to two road losses last week at Lindsey Wilson and Cumberlands.

But the race for tournament seeds is far from over, and the Patriots have the schedule in their favor as five of their last six conference games will be played in the friendly confines of Lourdes Hall. That stretch starts Thursday against West Virginia Tech with the women’s game at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Pikeville (whose men are ranked 6th nationally) visits for games at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Despite the injuries that have shrunk Lena Bramblett’s roster to seven players, two of which were brought up from the junior varsity, the Patriots were able to hang with Lindsey Wilson before absorbing a 76-69 loss Thursday in Columbia.

Very slim at the post position, the Patriots allowed Blue Raiders’ center Viktoria Krell 24 points and 14 rebounds. Lindsey Wilson outrebounded the Patriots 44-24, with 16 of those rebounds coming at the offensive end for the Blue Raiders.

St. Catharine placed four players in double figures, led by Reena Haliburton’s 23 points. Brittany Darden added 17 while Sa’de Mullins and Erin Rogers had 14 and 11 points respectively.

The Patriots weren’t able to keep it as close Saturday at the University of the Cumberlands as they fell behind 48-23 at halftime en route to an 87-44 defeat. Again the opponent’s offensive rebounding was a big factor as Cumberlands grabbed 22 caroms off the offensive glass and won the rebounding battle 39-25.

Rogers was the only Patriot in double figures as the senior guard had 11 points. Lauren Wombles paced Cumberlands with 22 points.

As for the men, J.T. Burton’s Patriots won the first of the two road games with a 61-58 victory at Lindsey Wilson. The Blue Raiders did have two attempts to tie the game in the closing seconds, but both shots were far off the mark.

“It was a win, but we have to play better than that, especially on the boards,” said Burton. “Our bigs (Ervin Williams and Arthur Latham) have to rebound better.”

Williams had one rebound and Latham six as the Patriots were outrebounded 30-28. But the Patriots were able to overcome that with 52 percent shooting from the field while holding Lindsey Wilson to 43 percent. Williams and Latham led the scoring with 14 and 10 points respectively.

Saturday in a foul-marred game in which there were five technical fouls called, the Patriots were in control with a 54-42 lead with 7:40 to play in the game. But they then found themselves in a Grave(s) situation, as in Adrion Graves who entered the game with his team facing that 12 point deficit. Graves, who originally signed with Xavier, proceeded to score all 21 of his points in the final 7:40 to lead his team to a 70-62 win.

The Patriots actually had one more field goal than Cumberlands, but were outscored 26-16 at the foul line, a statistic that didn’t sit well with Burton. “You could say that we got some tough calls against us (including two technicals against Williams resulting in his ejection) and the fouls (28 for SCC, 17 for Cumberlands) were definitely lopsided. But no matter what calls you get, you still have to get some stops on defense, and we didn’t do that in the last few minutes.”

Latham led the Patriots with 19 points and Williams and Josh Edwards pitched in 13 apiece. St. Catharine again lost out on the boards, where they had 25 rebounds to Cumberlands’ 34.