SHAWNEE – Behind a career day from Kylee Tatum and some timely buckets late, St. Gregory's won its home opener, 72-69, over Randall Saturday afternoon at Sumner Field House. The Cavaliers have now been victorious in eight of their last nine home debuts.
Tatum, a senior from Bethel, led all players with a career-high 31 points on 12 of 18 shooting. She was 5-for-6 from the free throw line and added six rebounds.
Tatum's driving layup with 51 seconds remaining tied the game at 66, and teammate Lauren Godbold put the Cavs ahead for good with a jumper in the lane with 21 ticks on the clock. The Saints cut it to one with four seconds remaining but ran out of time.
SGU (1-1) shot 40 percent for the game compared to RU's 36 percent. The visitors held a 51-45 edge on the boards, but the Cavs offset that with 19 forced turnovers.
Tatum scored 12 of the home team's 21 first-quarter points as the Cavs carried an eight-point lead into the second. That advantage was stretched to 11 on Godbold's bucket with 2:37 left in the half.
RU whittled into the SGU lead, eventually tying it at 52-52 as time expired in the third quarter. The fourth quarter featured five ties and six lead changes as neither team held more than a four-point advantage over the last five minutes.
Godbold posted 18 points on 8 of 19 shooting. Danielle Butler also scored in double figures, adding 10 first-half points. Shanques Garrett tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds. Gabbie Parsons led the Saints with 27 points and nine boards.
SGU resumes play Monday at home against Evangel (Mo.). Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Sumner Field House.