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The St. Catharine College Patriots will head into the Christmas break with a 7-5 record. J.T. Burton’s team compiled that slate after going 1-1 last week in two non-conference contests. After dropping a 70-61 decision at home on Tuesday against IU-Southeast, the Patriots won at Morthland College 90-53 on Saturday.
St. Catharine will be idle now until Jan. 3, when they return to Mid-South Conference play with a game at Cumberland University.
For the second consecutive year, IU-Southeast has swept the season basketball series from St. Catharine College. The Grenadiers, after winning earlier this year, 84-71, completed the sweep in Lourdes Hall on Tuesday afternoon with a 70-61 win over J.T. Burton’s team.
The game wasn’t actually as close as the nine-point final margin would indicate, as the visitors took a 32-26 halftime lead and dominated most of the second period. The Patriots were able to take a one-point lead at 33-32 three minutes into the second half, but that was the only advantage they would hold all day. The Grenadiers (8-3) put together a 22-5 run to lead 54-38 and coasted from there.
Cameron Mitchell scored 13 points to lead IU-Southeast, who shot 39 percent for the game. Tyrell Means and Haris Batalevic had 11 each and Kegan Clark had 10.
The Patriots, who shot 37 percent, were led by Omar Skinner’s 21 points. DeShawn Mitchell and Travis Wilkins had 15 and 10, respectively.
Mitchell led the Patriots in rebounding with 10, but the Grenadiers held a 33-31 advantage on the boards. Neither team handled the ball well, as St. Catharine logged 24 turnovers, 16 of them in the second half, while IU-Southeast turned the ball over 21 times.
The Patriots were 5-21 from three-point range and the Grenadiers were 9-25 from behind the arc. IU-Southeast made 15-of-20 free throws and the Patriots were 16-18 at the line.
The Patriots from West Frankfort, Ill., welcomed the Patriots from Kentucky for a Saturday afternoon game and the outcome was decided very early, as St. Catharine scored the first 17 points of the game in cruising to a 90-53 win.
Morthland (0-10), who lost 105-72 at St. Catharine just one week earlier, did not score until six minutes into the game. The home Patriots trailed 53-15 at halftime, but were able to outscore St. Catharine 38-37 in the second period.
In the first-half onslaught, St. Catharine shot 59.5 percent from the field. That included 8-14 (57 percent) from three-point range. They ended the game at 46 percent overall and 37 percent (11-30) from long range.
Morthland connected on just 20 percent in the first half, but shot 52 percent in the second half to end up with a 37.5 percent afternoon from the field.
Will Tolefree, in his first game with St. Catharine after gaining eligibility, led the scoring with 23 points. The 6-6 junior also led the team in rebounds with eight. Marquis Lee added 18 in the winning effort and Omar Skinner had 17.