Thursday, November 17, 2011


        It was prime time for the St. Catharine Patriots to drop out of the undefeated ranks Tuesday when they hosted Cumberland University. Lena Bramblett’s bunch had just recorded a 113-78 win over # 12 Olivet Nazarene the night before in a hard fought contest.

        But the Patriots battled through fatigue and the emotions from the previous night to claim a 65-57 win over the Bulldogs. That came despite just 39 percent shooting and a 39-30 deficit in the rebounding category.

         “Our biggest strength with this team is the ability to find a way to win,” said Bramblett. “We have kids who just hate to lose and they do whatever it takes to get the win.”

         It didn’t appear that the Patriots, now 6-0, would have much trouble finding a way to win Tuesday when they extended a 27-24 halftime lead into a 42-27 advantage with 15 minutes to play. But Cumberland, 1-4, embarked on a 19-4 run that gave them a 46-45 lead with 7:06 to play. But that was the last lead the Bulldogs would enjoy as Janae Howard made two free throws with 6:53 remaining to put St. Catharine ahead 47-46. From there they gradually built the lead back to as many as 10 points.

        “That is a big win for us after such a physically demanding game the night before,” said Bramblett. “It was but will take it.”

         Howard led all scorers with 21 points, aided by an 11-12 performance at the foul line. She also had a team high nine rebounds. Kasei Evans added 18 points in the winning effort.

         Cumberland shot just 33 percent (17-52) from the field including 2-13 from three point range. They committed 25 turnovers while the Patriot shad 19 floor errors.

         The Patriots are home again Saturday at 2:00 against West Virginia Tech. They open Mid-South Conference play Monday against the University of Rio Grande.