The St. Catharine Patriots (1-0, 0-0 MSC) tipped off for the first time in 2013 Thursday afternoon against the Virginia University-Lynchburg Dragons (1-1).
With a gym full of Washington County students, the Patriots of St. Catharine were ready to get the much anticipated 2013 season underway. After a slow start to the first half, the Patriots were able to take a commanding 40-27 lead at halftime. Led by senior guard Omar Skinner (New Castle, Del.) with his 16 points and three rebounds, the Patriots were able to maintain their double digit lead throughout the second half. “Omar really stepped up today and played well” says Head Coach JT Burton. “If he continues to play within himself, we can be successful.” Following a crowd raising block by Will Tolfree (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Dominique Roy (Piscataway, N.J.) tickled the twines with a momentum stealing three point basket from the top of the key, propelling the Patriots to their 86-71 victory over the Dragons.
“Overall, I thought that we played really well today” says Burton. “We absolutely have to get better at getting rebounds.” The Patriots were out rebounded by the Dragons 32-27, 10-9 on the offensive glass. Defensively, the Patriots racked up 17 steals and forced 27 Dragon turnovers, causing the Dragon offense to continue to be out of sync the entire contest. “Defensively we were able to apply a lot of pressure that helped us gain offensive momentum” says Burton. “It is finally nice to see on a stat sheet that we have even numbers as a team and a large number of assists (17).”
The Patriots will take to the road Saturday night, when they travel to NCAA Division 1 Morehead State University for a 7 PM tip off.