Charles Thompson, a reserve guard, scored 10 points in the final minutes to lead Catholic University to its 12th straight victory, a 73-66 win yesterday over fifth-ranked Scranton in a Division III game before 2,000 at Raymond DuFour Athletic Center.

Catholic, which is 14-6 and has beaten four of its division's top 20 teams this season, is undefeated at home. Scranton is 16-3.

"Playing in our gym we're 10-0," said Rob McCarry, who had a game-high 21 points. "At the Division III level, no one can come in and beat us."

Said Catholic Coach Jack Bruen: "Our kids did the right things when they had to. They played great defense in the final eight minutes."

Thompson finished with 16 points, making all six of his field goal attempts. Forward John Winkler shot unusually poorly but had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Bob Burns also had 10 rebounds.

Scranton's center, Shawn Gallagher, made all eight of his shots from the floor for 19 points, but sat out most of the second half with four fouls.

"That was a real big key," said McCarry.

"He was dominating the boards," said Scranton Coach Robert Bessoir. "He goes out, and they attack the offensive boards."

Although Gallagher went to the bench with his fourth foul at 11:22, Scranton, which shot 65 percent in the game, regained the lead, 53-52, on Eric Jacobs' two foul shots with 8:10 to play.

Scranton's Tyrone Fowlkes made a layup for a 55-54 lead, but Winkler drove the base line for a basket and McCarry scored on a spinning drive in the lane. Scranton called time with 5:10 left after Fowlkes lost the ball out of bounds.

After that, Thompson made three 15-footers and Mike Murphy a jumper, and the Cardinals led, 66-60. When Thompson made both ends of a one and one, Catholic had its biggest lead, 68-60, at 2:23.

"They went to a triangle and two (defense to contain Winkler and McCarry), and Charlie got the open shots," Bruen said.

Said Bessoir: "When we were in the combo defense, he found the openings and made the shots. We were trying to concentrate on Winkler and McCarry."

The Royals scored four straight points and had a chance to cut the lead to two with 1:14 to play. But Jacobs, who missed a long shot moments before, forced a 20-footer. And when Burns stole the ball from John Paul Andrejko, the Cardinals had their victory. Gallaudet 76, Newport News Apprentice 75

In an overtime game at Newport News, David Hamilton and Brian Ramsey each scored 20 points to lead the Bison's fifth straight victory. Apprentice (6-15) led, 45-34, before Mike Stultz's six straight points put Gallaudet (9-9) back in the game. Washington Bible 73, Northeastern Bible 51

Ed Fontaine and Don Heindel each scored 17 points and Mark Boss had six steals and six assists in Essex Fells, N.J.