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Pats gain momentum for conference run

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Mid-South action begins Thursday

By The Staff

SCC Sports Information

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The St. Catharine College Patriots will need all of the momentum they can get as they begin the rigorous Mid-South Conference schedule Thursday with a home game against West Virginia Tech. Three of the six conference teams that J.T Burton’s bunch will be playing home and away are ranked in the top 20 nationally and another has received votes in the poll.

The Patriots worked on that momentum factor lately as they have won their last two games and three of the last four in compiling a 4-13 mark in the pre-conference schedule. The latest wins came at home over Berea on Thursday and Temple Baptist (Cincinnati) on Monday.

In Monday’s victory the Patriots led Temple Baptist (3-8) wire to wire in the 87-46 decision. While the lopsided win may have appeared to be against an inferior opponent, Burton thought otherwise. “Just two days before they played Lindsey Wilson (18th nationally) to a nine-point game. They have some athletes,” Burton said.

The athleticism seemed all on the purple and gold side Monday as the Patriots streaked to a 40-18 halftime lead in holding the visitors to 20 percent shooting before intermission. “That was as good as we have played half-court defense all year,” beamed Burton.

St. Catharine’s defense forced Temple Baptist into 29 turnovers for the game while holding them to 23 percent shooting for the game. The Patriots had 12 steals led by Brandon Johnson’s five thefts.

On the offensive end, Johnson and Arthur Latham, the latter limited to just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, led the scoring with 21 points each. Terrance Withers had 15 and Thomas Malone added 13. The Patriots shot 43 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 55-40. Withers had nine boards and Kevin Owens had eight.

On Thursday the Patriots avenged an earlier 81-71 loss at Berea by beating the visiting Mountaineers 67-62. Latham and Withers led the scoring with 29 points and 10 points respectively. St. Catharine shot 48 percent from the field in taking a 30-28 lead at halftime and were never trailed in the five point victory. Berea (8-6) forced the Patriots into 24 turnovers but couldn’t convert them into many points as they shot 38 percent from the field.

The conference opener Thursday against West Virginia Tech will be the second game of the doubleheader that night. The St. Catharine women open the night at 6 p.m. followed by the men who will tip-off and approximately 8 p.m.