A funny thing happened to the St. Catharine Patriots who were on their way to an opening season win at Indiana University-Southeast. Actually the Patriot staff saw it more disheartening than humorous as they watched a 34-20 halftime lead melt away to an 84-71 defeat.
“In one stretch they outscored us 29-7,” said Patriot head coach J.T. Burton. “They made every free throw in that run and we were like 2-13.”
Free throws definitely played a huge part in the Grenadiers’ second half surge. They made 26 of 30 while the Patriots were 5-14 from the line. For the game IU-Southeast was 32-40 from the charity stripe and St. Catharine was 8-20. The Patriots had five more field goals for the game than the Grenadiers as they shot 42 percent (28-67) to the home team’s 38 percent (23-60).
IU-Southeast chipped away at the 14 point halftime deficit and eventually caught up when Kevin Mitchell drained a trey with 6:52 to play to make the score 58-58. Eighteen seconds later Mitchell hit a jumper and the Grenadiers pulled away from there for the 13 point victory.
Senior guard Marquis Lee led the Patriots in scoring with 22 points on 9-17 from the field. DeShawn Mitchell added 10 points but hit just four of 15 field goal attempts. Mitchell also led the St. Catharine rebounding effort with eight boards as both teams grabbed 41 rebounds.
The Patriots now prepare for their home opener this Saturday at 2:00 against Grace College from Winona Lake, Indiana. The Lancers will bring a 1-0 record into the contest after winning their opener 82-41 against Northland International.