The Patriots of St. Catharine (12-8, 6-5 MSC) took the opening tip to the basket for two points and never looked back as they rolled over the Cumberland Bulldogs (12-7, 4-6 MSC) 99-82.
Omar Skinner (New Castle, Del.) scored the first two points of the night for the Patriots when he took the tip to the lane to draw a foul and earn two free throws. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the two point deficit would be as close as they would come all night. The patriots stormed out to an early 11-4 lead sparked by the defensive effort of Nick Porter (Owensboro, Ky.) who forced three steals in the first four minutes of the contest. Porter would continue his impact in the first half when Taron Franklin (Philadelphia, Penn.) would find pay dirt on a laser pass from Porter. With nine minutes remaining in the half Porter and Franklin would continue their dominance as Porter would force yet another Bulldog turnover and find Franklin who netted two more of his team leading 19 on the fast break, increasing the Patriot lead to 13. With just over two minutes remaining and the Patriots’ lead at 11, Omar Skinner would catch a pass from Stephen McCray (Baltimore, Md.) and stuff it home only to have a technical foul called for hanging on the rim. Following a one out of two free throw effort from the Bulldogs, the Patriot defense would force another turnover, leading to a basket from William Bailey (Valley, Ala.). With just seconds remaining in the half, Bailey would attack again as he snagged a rebound to push the ball to Dominique Roy (Penn’s Grove, N.J.) who would dunk it home and give the Patriots a 46-36 halftime advantage.
With the start of the second half, the Patriots were able to maintain their 10 point advantage early as Roy become more active in the passing game, finding Julito Hutchinson (Atlanta, Ga.) for two hard earned points in the paint for one of Roy’s team high five assists. The Patriots’ defense would force a total of 21 Bulldogs turnover, none more impressive than another steal from Porter who would find Roy in transition for another windmill slam. On the next possession Skinner would force a turnover and find Roy on the outlet pass, for two more of Roy’s 17 points. The final two minute of the contest belonged to the Patriots as Chris Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky.) caught fire and found the rim twice in the waning minutes to push the Patriots to a 99-82 victory.
The Patriots will be in action once again Saturday at 4 PM when the Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson College invade Lourdes Hall. The Patriots defeated the Raiders 77-56 in Columbia on January 4th and will look to repeat a two game streak for the first time since defeating the Blue Raiders and the Bulldogs in their last meetings.