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As they went into Monday’s regular season basketball finale at Georgetown, the St. Catharine College women were in a tie for fifth place with the University of the Cumberlands. And, trailing fourth place Campbellsville by two games and ahead of seventh place Bluefield by four games, the Patriots will enter this week’s Mid-South Conference tournament as either the fifth or sixth seed.
That fate was determined when St. Catharine (19-9, 11-8) split a pair of conference games on the road last week. After topping Lindsey Wilson 63-50 on Thursday the Patriots fell 77-73 Saturday at Campbellsville.
Depending on the outcome of Monday’s game, the Patriots will play either Shawnee state or Campbellsville in the tournament opener on Thursday.
Despite staying close the entire game, the Patriots were never able to take the lead in Saturday’s game at Campbellsville who held on for a 77-73 Mid-South Conference victory.
The best chance for the Patriots to forge ahead came with the score tied 60-60 with 4:42 to play. But Janae Howard missed the front end of a bonus and the Tigers (21-8, 13-6) answered with a trey from Courtney Clifton seven seconds later.
The Patriots did cut the advantage to 75-73 when Machera Calhoun got a putback with 12 seconds to play. But Mary Jehlik canned two free throws with six seconds remaining to complete the scoring.
Only five Patriots entered the scoring column and three were in double figures. Calhoun led the way with 26 points. Reilly Poirier had 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and Howard added 14 points, playing just 25 minutes due to foul trouble.
The Patriots shot 42 percent from the field (28-66) and had one more field goal than the Tigers, who hit 41.5 percent (27-65). St. Catharine was only 20 percent (3-15) from long range, while Campbellsville was 5-15 (33 percent) on three-point attempts.
St. Catharine College Head Coach Lena Bramblett did not get to watch in person when her team played Thursday at Mid-South Conference foe Lindsey Wilson College. With her second baby born Tuesday night, the SCC mentor had to watch the game via computer – which must have given her post-partum exhilaration after watching her team win easily, 63-50, over the Blue Raiders.
Keeping it in the family, Bramblett’s brother, Tyler Campbell took the reins Thursday along with co-assistant coach Sara Sexton. If the duo was anxious about stepping up their roles, their team made things easier on them as they led nearly the entire game.
A trey by Rianne Hofstraat four minutes into the game gave the Patriots a 9-6 lead and they were never headed by the Blue Raiders, who fell to 16-12 overall and 7-11 in the MSC. That lead grew to nine points at halftime and to as many as 23 points with 10 minutes to play in the game.
“That is a big win for us on the road,” said Campbell. “It is the first time we have won at their place since joining the conference (five years ago)."
Janae Howard paced the Patriots with 21 points and nine rebounds. Reilly Poirier was the only other Patriot in double figures with 10 points.
Ashley Rainey led Lindsey Wilson with 25 points and 21 rebound as the Blue Raiders held a 45-41 rebounding advantage. But only one other player scored as many as eight point for Lindsey Wilson.
“Was our plan to let Rainey have hers and hold everyone else,” said Campbell, repeating a question asked him. “Well, we didn’t really want to give her 21 rebounds especially nine offensive ones that led to many putbacks.”
St. Catharine shot 38 percent from the field, including 7-20 from three-point range. They were 6-10 on free throw attempts.
Lindsey Wilson hit 30.5 percent from the field but was just 4-21 (19 percent) from behind the arc. They were 10-16 at the foul line.