Lena Bramblett admitted to being a “little worried” at halftime of the Patriots’ season opener Friday at Martin Methodist. But the worry turned to joy as the St. Catharine women turned a 29-29 halftime deadlock into a 72-53 win.
“Our point guards were in foul trouble early and we had an awkward lineup in much of the first half,” said Bramblett. “But we settled in and made some shots in the second half and our conditioning proved to be phenomenal.”
Indeed the Patriots made some shots in the second half. After a 31 percent performance in the first 20 minutes, St. Catharine shot 53 percent (18-34) after the intermission, ending the game at 41 percent from the field. The RedHawks (0-1) never could find the range from the field. They shot 24 percent in the first half but only 19 percent (7-36) in the second period to end the game at 22 percent.
“We played good defense out of the zone we used in the second half,” explained Bramblett. “But we didn’t rebound well with the zone and that is something we really need to improve.” Martin Methodist won the rebounding battle 53-41. The Redhawks grabbed a whopping 28 offensive rebounds while the Patriots corralled just 12 caroms off their offensive glass.
The Patriots placed three players in double figures led by senior Janae Howard’s 19 points. Rianne Hofstraat had 16 points, a team high nine rebounds and six blocks and Reilly Poirier added 11 points.
“Rianne played 38 minutes and had probably the best game of her career,” Bramblett said of Hofstraat, a junior from The Netherlands. Both teams were sloppy in ball handling as the Patriots had 27 turnovers to the RedHawks 26. But St. Catharine overcame that with 20 assists (six by Machera Calhoun) while Martin Methodist handed out only seven assists.
Next up for the Patriots is a trip to Asbury University on Saturday for a noon tip-off. Tuesday they travel to Tennessee to take on Bethel University.