The difference in the last two minutes of this game was Garrard's defensive stops and rebounds as Lincoln tried to erase a seven-point deficit.
"We stepped up and did what we had to do to win," Teater said.
The Lions' last field goal came with 7:08 to play, and Garrard (3-8) was just 4-for-12 from the field in the second half. But Lincoln (3-9) hit just four of 17 shots in the fourth quarter as it tried to rally - including two of 11 from 3-point range - and Garrard hit just enough free throws down the stretch to keep the Patriots at bay.
Lincoln coach John Kolasa said the tide turned against his team in the first quarter, when Garrard was able to penetrate the lane with ease.
"I thought we lacked defensive intensity early," Kolasa said. "Garrard was pretty much able to do what they wanted, hammering it inside."
The Patriots gave up 12 unanswered points in the second quarter - while they went scoreless for a span of 5:53 - allowing Garrard to take a 26-16 lead in the final seconds of the first half.
Lincoln closed to within three points in the fourth quarter before the Lions rebuilt a 49-42 advantage with 2:21 to play. Lincoln then used a 3-pointer by Jamie Duncan and a three-point play by Jenny Jones to pull within one point with 58 seconds left.
"We kind of lost our minds against their press and didn't know what to do," Teater said. "We were ahead, and we weren't comfortable with that. We weren't used to that situation."
Garrard did the job on defense, and Lincoln didn't score again. The Patriots were 7-for-22 from 3-point range on the night, but they missed four 3s in the final 20 seconds.
Meanwhile, Garrard went 9-for-16 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and 23-for-35 overall, failing to fully capitalize on 30 Lincoln fouls. Sydney Napier and Chelsea Denny each went 1-for-2 in the final minute to seal the outcome.
Parsons led Garrard with 12 points, while Napier had nine points and seven rebounds. Kia Howard also had seven boards for the Lions, who outrebounded Lincoln 38-26.
Pitts led Lincoln with 12 points, going 4-for-9 from 3-point range in the first three quarters but 0-for-6 in the fourth.
Lincoln shot 30 percent (15-for-50) overall from the field and hit 11 of 15 free throws; Garrard finished at 37 percent (13-for-35) from the field.
The game was complicated by more than half a dozen clock malfunctions. Some allowed too much time to lapse, while others had the opposite effect, but both coaches said the timing trouble didn't affect the outcome.
"You can't say who it might have helped," Kolasa said. "The clock was a problem for both of us."