When a team comes in averaging 103 points a game, the opposing coach will usually talk about taking them out of their fast paced offense to keep the score manageable. That, however, was not the game plan for Lena Bramblett as she prepared her St. Catharine Patriots to take on visiting Olivet Nazarene who came to Lourdes Hall on Tuesday shooting treys when they got off the bus.
And the game plan that Bramblett did implement worked perfectly as the Patriots became the high powered offense with a 113-78 win over the Tigers who entered the game ranked 12th nationally.
“We wanted to play their game,” said Bramblett whose team improved to 5-0. “We played Glenville State in a scrimmage just because they played like Olivet and we knew it would help us get ready.”
Ready the Patriots were as they beat Olivet Nazarene at their own game by hitting 44 percent (8-18) from three point range while the Tigers, whose record fell to 3-1, were 11-50 (22 percent) from behind the arc. For the game the visitors shot 29 percent from the field while St. Catharine had a season best 52 percent shooting night.
A big reason for the high percentage was the number of layups the Patriots converted after breaking the Tigers’ press. That led to 30 assists, 10 of them by Machera Calhoun. It also led to four players in double figures led by Kasei Evans 30 points. Janae Howard added 27 while Stacie Shrout and Jasmine Gibson had 25 and 10 respectively.
It was Shrout who did the most damage from long range as the freshman from Boone County High School was 7-9 from three point range. She was 3-3 in the first half as the Patriots built a 63-42 lead. They extended that lead after intermission to as many as 44 points.
“We knew exactly what they wanted to do and that was wear us down,” said Bramblett of the Tigers who substituted an entire new lineup every two minutes or less. “But we were able to push our way through the wall when we got tired. We didn’t run a single offensive play the entire game due to the press.”
St. Catharine held a 66-49 rebounding edge as Janae Howard and Rianne Hofstraat grabbed 10 boards each. Reilly Poirier had nine and Stacie Shrout had eight. Hofstraat also had five of the Patriots’ nine blocked shots. There is no time to rest following the fast paced game as the Patriots are back in action Wednesday when they will host Cumberland University at 6:00.