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No. 3 Lady Tigers roll
past St. Catharine 92-69
Campbellsville University used a balanced offensive attack Saturday to down St. Catharine College 92-69 and opened a five-game Mid-South Conference road trip victorious.
The win gives the Lady Tigers sole possession of first-place in the MSC at 7-0 as University of the Cumberlands fell on the road to Shawnee State University.
“As tough as our conference is, if you can get any breathing room, you’ll take it,” CU head coach Ginger Colvin said. “I’m sure it (the conference race) will still come down to the wire, but it’s nice to have a little breathing room.”
The Lady Tigers collected points from 10 of its 13 players, led by Whitney Ballinger’s 28 points and a season-high 16 points from Megan Isaacs.
“We came out with better intensity than we have recently. I thought Megan came off the bench and really gave us a boost and did a good job,” Colvin said.
Shortly after Isaacs entered the game, she scored to give CU its first double-figure lead (17-7) with 13:30 left in the opening period. The junior from Horse Cave played a part in each bench mark for the Lady Tigers, also giving CU its first 20-point lead (40-20) and later hitting a three-pointer in the second half to push Campbellsville to a 30-point lead (74-43).
CU dominated the glass, out-rebounding St. Catharine by 25. Ballinger had eight rebounds while Courtney Danis had six.
“Courtney has been working hard on rebounding for us,” Colvin said. “She had six today, but she also did a good job boxing out to create opportunities for others.”
St. Catharine was led by Danielle Brown, who scored all 22 of her points in the second half.
Tigers unable to shut down
No. 8 Patriots in second half
Campbellsville University’s upset run was halted in the second half Saturday as No. 8 St. Catharine College pulled away for a 77-63 win.
“You cannot turn the ball over and create offense for St. Catharine and we did that,” CU head coach Keith Adkins aid. “We had to be ready to compete ever defensive possession and we did that well the first half, but in the second half we didn’t have one possession where all five guys were competing on defense.”
CU held a 37-34 halftime lead, but the second half was a different story as the Patriots were unstoppable in the paint, scoring on 8-11 field goal tries inside the purple lane. SCC started the period on a 9-0 run and never looked back, shooting 62 percent from the field (18-29) in the final 20 minutes.
Adkins compared the second half of the game to the shutdown late on Jan. 3 in a home loss to Union University.
“You can talk about talent, you can talk about fatigue, but bottom line is we didn’t play hard,” Adkins said. “When you give the effort we gave in the second half on the road in the Mid-South Conference, you get the result we got.”
Whelan seals CU’s home upset of Life (Ga. University 75-74
Adrian Whelan knocked down three free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to seal Campbellsville University’s 75-74 upset of Life (Ga.) University on Monday night in the Powell Athletic Center..
The Tigers didn’t mind waiting three more days to play the game, originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 13. Rescheduled due to icy road conditions, the new date was a gain for CU’s sixth-man, drawing one of the largest crowds of the season, as students returned to Powell Athletic Center for the first time since December.
Whelan put on a show late for the home crowd, coming off the bench to score a career-high 12 points in 24 minutes of play, including nine of CU’s 12 overtime points. At the end of the night, Whelan had a career night in the clutch. Far gone were his days as a third-string guard off the bench, which were plagued by injury and standout transfer guards.
“Adrian played well, take away the one turnover late. He defended hard and made shots. Adrian’s always in the right spot and always done things correctly,” CU head coach Keith Adkins said.
Before Whelan took over the Tigers’ offense in overtime, it was senior guard Shawn Savage who posted a career night with 27 points to lead CU. Savage connected on six three-pointers. The Bowling Green native had 18 points in the first half, including eight points in the first seven minutes to keep Life’s early lead within a possession. After Savage tied the game (19-19) Life went up by six (28-22) late in the first half.
CU capped the half with a 15-2 run, including six points from Sasha Mirosavljev to enter halftime with 37-30 lead.
In the second half, Campbellsville led by eight (42-34) before Life rallied to the game (47-47) with 14 minutes left in regulation.
The Eagles led most of the final 10 minutes, with CU forcing a few ties, including a lay-up by JaVaughn Espritt in the final seconds to send the game into overtime at 63-63.
Espritt finished with a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds). Caleb Harris was key for the Tigers’ defensively, collecting nine rebounds and adding three assists on offense before being knocked out of the game as part of a collision under the basket early in the second half.
Whelan scored the first six points of overtime to give CU a 69-67 lead and later gave the Tigers their final lead with the game-winning free throws.
The win closes out the Tigers’ tough non-conference schedule against NAIA programs, shutting down a Life team that averages 81.4 points per game. The Tigers were aided by poor shooting by the Eagles from the field (37.8 percent) and at the line (52.6 percent).
“We needed this one, especially the way it happened. We haven’t improved our chances for anything. It doesn’t mean anything in rankings, but for our morale, we needed something positive to happen against a good team, and we got that. This win doesn’t create any opportunities for us, but a loss would have been devastating,” Adkins said.
“To hold them to 63 in regulation, we gave ourselves a chance to win … This is a team that scored 105 against Georgetown the other night. We have to look at this and say, ‘Hey, we did what we were supposed to.’”