Of course head coach Lena Bramblett was happy with her team’s late 10-2 run that gave the Patriots a 70-67 victory Monday over visiting Martin Methodist College. But the St. Catharine mentor would rather quit depending on late game heroics.
“We have done that in most games this year and when you play the schedule that we do you can’t keep falling behind and expect to win,” said Bramblett of the non-conference win that gave her team a 4-2 record. “But we have executed well at the end of most games this year.”
Good offensive execution was what the Patriots needed Monday to overcome the RedHawks (6-7) who led 65-60 with 3:44 to play. Point guard Machera Calhoun, who led all scorers with 22 points, started the rally with two driving, twisting layups that cut the deficit to 65-64 with 2:23 remaining.
Then Calhoun’s partner at guard, Carol Ruiz-Lopez, drained a three-pointer at the 1:38 mark to give St. Catharine their first lead since early in the second half when they led by as many as five points, extending a 37-34 lead at intermission to their biggest cushion at 39-34. Reilly Poirier made one of two free throws to give the Patriots a 68-65 advantage with 1:17 left and, after a RedHawks field goal cut the lead to one point, Heather Sandlin completed the scoring with two free throws with three seconds to play.
Martin Methodist led throughout almost the entire second half, their largest advantage at nine points coming at the 12:57 mark when they led 53-44. But they managed only five field goals after taking that largest lead which aided the Patriots’ comeback.
“We still are not shooting the ball very well but we did do a much better job in offensive rebounding,” added Bramblett.
The Patriots had 13 offensive rebounds in the first half and ended with 19 offensive boards of their 38 total rebounds. The RedHawks had 37 rebounds. St. Catharine shot 35 percent (23-65) from the field while the Redhawks were 23-60 for 38 percent. The Patriots were 4-19 from three point range while Martin Methodist was 7-18 on trey attempts. The visitors made 14 of 17 free throw attempts and the Patriots were 20-26 at the line.
Poirier (16 points and nine rebounds) and Rianne Hofstraat (11 points) joined Calhoun in double figures for St. Catharine.
The Patriots now get ready for two big conference games at home. Thursday they will host 13th ranked Campbellsville (6-2) and Saturday they take on 17th ranked Lindsey Wilson (4-1).