Wednesday, December 10, 2014


     The Patriot men’s basketball team got a chance to fine tune their skills on the court without it counting against their schedule. The team had the chance to take on a quality opponent in NCAA D-II, the University of Illinois Springfield. The Patriots made it interesting late, but couldn’t get over the hump as they fell to the Prairie Stars 97-94.

     The Patriots had five players score in double figures, led by Lorenzo Dewberry. Who scored a game high 25 points, 21 of those coming from the three point line, where he knocked down seven of his 13 three-point attempts. Ben Vozzola and Aishon White also shined scoring 19 points apiece. Brandon Bobb Jones and Julito Hutchinson scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

     It looked as though the Prairie Stars were going to run away with the game when they built a 13-4 lead, but after a layup by Jones and a triple by Vozzola the lead was back down to four. After St. Catharine trailed 16-11, UIS went on a quick 6-0 run to extend their lead to double digits for the first time. The Patriots hung in there with the home team staying within striking distance for much of the first half. The lead for the home team got as little as two, 40-38, when the Patriots went on a 7-0 run after they trailed 40-31. The home team took a 45-41 lead into the break.

     In the second half the Patriots were firing on all cylinders. St. Catharine took their first lead of the game, 46-45, after a 5-0 run less than a minute into the second half. After the Patriots took a one point lead, the Prairie Stars went on an 8-0 spurt to regain a seven point advantage with 17 minutes remaining. After back-to-back 3’s by Dewberry and White, and a pair of freebies by Jones, the Patriots took the lead, 56-55 with 14:28 left. It looked as though the Prairie Stars were going to run away with it when they built a 12 point lead, 76-64, with 7:09 remaining, but the Patriots cut the lead to five with 3:33 left.

     The Prairie Stars held a comfortable advantage, until a minute left when the Patriots made it interesting. The Patriots made five threes in the final 59 seconds, with the final one coming with two ticks left by Bryson Harris to cut the lead to one. The Prairie Stars sank two free throws to secure a 97-94 victory.

     For the game, St. Catharine connected on 14 of their 32 three point attempts, good enough for 43.8%. The Patriots outshot the Prairie Stars from the field, but the difference was at the charity stripe where UIS made 31 of their 39 attempts and the Patriots only attempted 18 shots and made 10 of those attempts.

     Next up for the Patriots is Indiana University Southeast on Friday, December 12th at Lourdes Hall. St. Catharine will try to avenge their earlier loss to Grenadiers on November 1st, where the Patriots lost 102-99 in an offensive explosion.