Monday, January 12, 2015


     The Patriot men’s basketball team (5-9) returned to action over the weekend against Tennessee Wesleyan College (6-8). The team started the new year off right with an 88-84 victory over the visiting Bulldogs.

     Ben Vozzola (Las Vegas, Nev.) led the Patriots with a game-high 29 points in just 22 minutes of play; 13 of Vozzola’s 29 came from the charity stripe where he was 13-13 for the game. Vozzola also helped the Patriots win the rebounding battle, 34-25, by pulling down seven boards. Brandon Bobb Jones (Wilmington, Del.) pitched in with 16 points on the afternoon. Khalil Murphy (Willingboro, N.J.) made it three straight games in double figures with 10 points.

     The Patriots were lethal from deep connecting on 11 of their 25 three point attempts, good enough for 44 percent. The Bulldogs on the other hand struggled, as they hit only three in their nine attempts. St. Catharine shot 88 percent from the charity stripe, 23-26 and the Bulldogs shot 29-37 from the line, good enough for 78 percent.

     The Patriots got off to a hot start opening up a ten point margin, 13-3, just five minutes into the opening frame. Tennessee Wesleyan went on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 20 apiece with 10:15 remaining in the half. The Bulldogs battled back to take their first lead of the game, 26-25, but the Patriots battled back with an 8-0 run sparked by a pair of Lorenzo Dewberry (Detroit, Mich.) 3’s to give the Patriots a seven point advantage with 4:27 remaining in the half. The Bulldogs cut the lead to four, but after a deuce by Vozzola and a freebie by Dewberry the lead was back to seven, 36-29. The Bulldogs ended the half on an 11-4 run to tie the game at 40 apiece at the break.

     The two teams traded baskets over the opening seven minutes and change of the second frame as they battled to a tie at 55-55. The Patriots then got a layup by Jones and a dunk by Emory Bennett (Miami, Fla.) to take a four point lead with 11:25 remaining. But the Bulldogs wouldn’t go away as they came back to cut the lead to one, 63-62. The Patriots then scored five unanswered to take a six point lead with 8:31 left. But the pesky Bulldogs wouldn’t go away as they cut the lead to three with 3:52 remaining. Ben Vozzola, however, wouldn’t let the Patriots lose. Over the final 3:33 Vozzola, scored 11 of the final 13 points for the Patriots to seal an 88-84 win over the Bulldogs.

     The Patriots will return to action tonight when they travel to the “Volunteer State” to take on the same Tennessee Wesleyan squad they defeated on Saturday.