At Indiana University-Southeast, then St. Catharine College patriots jumped to a 14-3 lead over the Grenadiers. But that was about the only fun J.T. Burton’s team had as they left New Albany with an 88-72 defeat.
IU-Southeast, after facing the early deficit, responded with their own run, a 17-5 spurt that gave them the lead for good at 20-19 with 10:14 to play in the first half. The Grenadiers, 6-4, led 51-40 at halftime. And if the Patriots, 5-3, hoped for a second half comeback those hopes were dashed early after intermission. Brandon Dunaway nailed a three pointer 14 seconds into the second period and the Patriots never got closer than 13 points the remainder of the game.
“We are just not playing very well right now,” said Burton. “Our bigs (Fateen Belfield and Stephan Pope) had good games but we didn’t get much production anywhere else.”
Pope led the Patriots with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Belfield also turned in a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. But while the two big men were a combined 12 18 from the field (67 percent) the remainder of the team shot just 24 percent from the field.
The Grenadiers, ranked 22nd nationally in NAIA D-II, didn’t exactly burn the nets as they shot just 42 percent from the field. But they made 11 of 26 three-point attempts while the Patriots were 5-18 from behind the arc.
The Patriots return to Mid-South Conference action Thursday and Saturday with road games at Georgetown and Shawnee State.