The St. Catharine College Patriots played 45 minutes of basketball in Saturday’s home opener against Grace College from Indiana. And it was the five minute overtime where head coach J.T. Burton said conditioning paid off his team’s 81-73 victory.
“Our six o’clock workouts made a difference,” said Burton whose team evened its record at 1-1. “You could tell our guys were in shape.”
The overtime definitely belonged to the Patriots as they outscored the Lancers (1-1) 8-0. Dominique Roy opened the extra period with his only field goal of the game. Omar Skinner then dished a nice assist to DeShawn Mitchell and a Roy assist to Terrance Smotherman with 2:51 to play gave the patriots a six point lead. Roy completed the scoring with two free throws at: 22.
“We had more assist than turnovers and I can’t remember the last time that happened,” added Burton whose team handed out 20 assists and committed 18 turnovers.
It didn’t appear that the game would need the extra period as the Patriots raced to a 13-1 lead at the outset and still led 42-29 at halftime. But the Lancers, ranked eighth nationally in NAIA Division II, began chipping away at the lead in the second period.
Grace eventually grabbed the lead 71-69 with 3:19 to play when Greg Miller hit two free throws. Smotherman tied the game with a short jumper at 2:20 and Marquis Lee’ monster dunk off a Roy assist put the Patriots ahead 73-71. But Elliot Smith, who led all scorers with 20 points, tied the game with 1:11 to play and neither team could score again in the final minute.
The Patriots, who shot 48.5 percent from the field, placed four players in double figures led by Mitchell’s 19 points. Smotherman added 17, on 8-11 from the field, and Lee and Kevin Kornegay each had 14 points.
The Lancers, who shot 40 percent for the game, had three players join Smith in double figures. Bruce Grimm had 17, Miller 13 and Tannan Peters 11.
“These guys just do everything I ask of them,” Burton said. “They pay attention in practice and when we are watching film. They continue to run the offense and they don’t take bad shots.”
The Patriots are idle until Thursday when they play at Knoxville College.