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They played hard. They played well. And they were competitive despite constant foul trouble. But when the final horn sounded, Lena Bramblett’s St. Catharine College Patriots found themselves on the short end of a 76-62 score Thursday at Lee University.
The result, however, left the SCC mentor more than pleased about how her team fared against the Flames, a team ranked 11th nationally who had just upset number one Union last week.
“Unbelievable,” said Bramblett. “We played a very good 40 minutes of basketball. If it hadn’t been for a couple pivotal calls late in the game we would have been in it to the very end.”
The Patriots, 8-8, were definitely in it midway through the second half as they trailed by only five points. But a 12-3 run by Lee gave the Flames a 64-50 advantage and the Patriots could never get the lead less than 10 points after that. The comeback chances were throttled by foul trouble, especially to Danielle Brown, the Patriots’ main threat inside who was limited to just 16 minute of action.
“Danielle’s foul trouble was a huge factor,” added Bramblett. “They have a real nice 6-2 player inside (Katie Nelson) but Danielle was scoring at will on her early in the game.”
Further foul trouble hampered Taylor Oliver who fouled out as the Patriots were whistled for 25 personals that resulted in the Flames (10-3) making 26 of 33 (79 percent) free throw attempts. St. Catharine hit 76 percent (16-21) from the charity stripe.
“We played together as team better than we have all season,” continued Bramblett. “I (Iona Caulder) really had a good game (eight assists, three turnovers and 12 points).”
Caulder was joined in double figures by Erin Rogers and Courtney Milam who scored 17 and 14 respectively. The Patriots held their own on the boards against the taller Flames who won the rebounding battle 40-36. Jennica Garrity led St. Catharine with eight rebounds. Brown and Caulder grabbed six each.
“It’s not a win but it was good that we played well which should give us some momentum and confidence going into games after Christmas,” concluded Bramblett.
The Patriots will return to action January 7th with a game at Alice Lloyd. Following a game at Berea on January 9th they will host West Virginia Tech on January 15th in the first Mid-South Conference game.
As ecstatic as Bramblett was with her team’s recent performance on the court, the SCC coach was equally as pleased with the players’ academic progress. The Patriots finished the fall semester with a combined grade point average of 3.23. “Athletically and academically we finished well,” said Bramblett.