While it won’t go into the win column, Patriot head coach Lena Bramblett spoke in very positive terms about her women following Tuesday’s 78-69 loss to the visiting Georgetown tigers who entered the game ranked sixth nationally in the NAIA.
“I was just hoping after last Saturday’s loss (at Bluefield) that we would learn something and come out with a better effort,” said Bramblett after Tuesday’s game that left the St. Catharine with a 3-2 overall record and an 0-2 Mid-South Conference mark. “And we really did that. We fought hard and gave a great effort when we were undersized most of the night due to some players being out.”
St. Catharine did battle the talented Tigers throughout the contest. After training 40-32 at the half, the Patriots forged a tie at 45-45 with 12:33 left to play. But a 19-6 Georgetown run gave them a 64-51 lead at the 7:40 mark and the Patriots never got closer than seven points again.
“We lost Machera (point guard Machera Calhoun) at that point who was really playing well,” said Bramblett referring to the seven minutes Calhoun had to sit following a hard fall.
While Bramblett would not tag the loss on free throw disparity, the Tigers definitely won the game at the foul line where they made 20 of 28 free throws for the game while the Patriots were 2-3 from the foul line. Georgetown (3-1, 1-1) was whistled for eight personal fouls in the game while the Patriots were called for 20 fouls.
But even with the disadvantage in free throws the Patriots stayed close due to other positive parts of their game. They made 31 field goals, in 80 attempts, while the Tigers made just 24 shots from the field (in 61 attempts). St. Catharine also won the rebounding battle 45-42. Rianne Hofstraat led the way with 12 boards. Reilly Poirier and 5-4 guard Heather Sandlin had nine rebounds each and Carol Ruiz-Lopez grabbed eight.
The Tigers also did much of their damage from long range as they connected on 10 of 25 three-point attempts. Kourtney Tyra, who led all scorers with 24 points, was 5-8 from long range with four of those bombs coming in the second half. The Patriots were just 5-21 from behind the arc.
Poirier led the Patriots with 22 points. Calhoun added 18 and Hofstraat had 11.
St. Catharine will play next on Monday with a non-conference game at home against Martin Methodist starting at 6:00. The Patriots opened the season at Martin Methodist with a 72-53 win.