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CU rallies to down St. Catharine 67-64

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Tigers avenge Feb. 1 setback.

By The Staff

It took 33 minutes for Campbellsville University to take its first lead of the game Saturday, but once it did, the Tigers wouldn’t give it back to St. Catharine College en route to a 67-64 road victory in Springfield.

T.J. Bishop hit a lay-up with just under seven minutes left to give CU a 51-49 lead. Bishop, who scored CU’s first three points of the game, scored the rest of his game-leading 17 points in the second half.

While Bishop helped CU maintain his lead, it was a Shawn Savage free throw with nine seconds left that gave the Tigers a three-point lead and distance for the win. The Patriots missed two 3-point shots in the closing seconds.

Campbellsville trailed by as many as 12 points (25-13) in the first half, but Brett Crittenden cut it to eight (35-27) with a free throw before half-time.

Four minutes into the second half, St. Catharine was called for an intentional foul, giving the ball back to the Tigers after a pair of missed free throws by Nestor Colmenares. Bishop used the opportunity to hit his first 3-pointer of the half and cut the lead back under 10 at 39-32. Bishop followed with six more points to the Patriots’ two, cutting the lead to a basket (41-38).

From there, JaVaughn Espritt went to work, scoring six of his 14 points in the next three minutes to keep the Tigers within three points (47-44). A second chance put-back by Colmenares did the same until a 3-pointer from Jordan Benock with seven minutes left drew the Tigers and Patriots even at 49-49 for the first time since the opening tip.

Moments after Bishop’s go-ahead basket, St. Catharine tied the game on a pair of free throws by Johnson, but the Patriots would get no closer. Espritt answered with four more of his 10 second-half points to give CU a two-possession lead (59-55).

Colmenares, who had zero points when the two teams met Feb. 1, had 14 points and 15 rebounds.

In the end, Campbellsville held its opponent to 64 points or less for the eighth-straight game and 20th time this season.

The win also marks the first time since 2001 that the Campbellsville men and women have swept at least one doubleheader over every MSC opponent in a single season.

CU (22-6, 10-2) holds a one-game lead over Georgetown in the Mid-South Conference standings with two games left.