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St. Catharine College head coach Lena Bramblett has used one word most of this season to describe what she needs from her Patriot basketball team – consistency. That trait, or the lack thereof, was evident again last week as St. Catharine won two of three games to put its record at 6-5.
“We still haven’t been able to be consistent in our play game after game,” said Bramblett. “That is something we need to do once we get into conference play. But we are starting to do the little things that we need to do to be competitive in the conference.”
The Patriots started the week in the inconsistent fashion to which Bramblett referred. After building a 17-point lead Tuesday against visiting Asbury College, the Patriots watched the visitors whittle the margin to two points before holding on for a 78-68 win. Erin Rogers, who ranks 10th in the nation in scoring at 21 points a game, led St. Catharine with 27 points. She was joined in double figures by Courtney Milam and Lauren Reed who scored 12 and 10 respectively.
The Patriots shot an even 50 percent in each half while Asbury (4-6) shot just 27 percent in the first half that ended with them trailing 35-20. The Eagles ended the game at 40 percent after making 16 of 32 attempts after intermission.
Friday afternoon it was the Patriots who staged a second-half comeback that fell just short as they took on Calvin College in the first round of the Julie Costello Memorial Classic played at Thomas More College. Trailing 34-28 at halftime, St. Catharine fell behind 61-39 but staged a 30-9 run that cut the lead to 70-69 with one minute to play. But four free throws down the stretch allowed Calvin (5-0) to secure a 74-72 win.
Rogers led the Patriots with 22 points. Milam and Taylor Oliver each had 15 points. Calvin won the game at the foul line where they were 27-35. St. Catharine was 12-16 at the charity stripe.
“We responded well in the second half,” added Bramblett. “I am proud of our team for continuing to play hard to get back in the game.”
In the consolation game Saturday at Thomas More the Patriots took on
neighboring Centre College. St. Catharine trailed 38-30 at halftime and fell behind by ten points early in the second half. But a comeback brought them within one point and a jumper by Milam with 7:24 to play gave the Patriots a 54-53 lead and they would never trail again en route to a 69-63 victory.
With Rogers drawing a lot of attention from the Colonels’ defense, four other players stepped up to score in double figures as Rogers was held to seven points. Milam led the way with 16 points. Lauren Reed had 13, Iona Caulder 12 and Danielle Brown 10.
“Lauren played well in both games,” said Bramblett of the 5-10 sophomore from Frankfort who also had eight rebounds against Centre who lost for the first time in four outings.
The Patriots are back on the court Saturday with a home game against Rio Grande University. The tip-off is at 6 p.m.