The Rattlers have opened up the season 2-0. (Photo by Antonio Morano Photography)
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SAN ANTONIO — A 5-foot-6 guard usually isn’t a threat for a double-double, but most guards aren’t Felicia Jacobs.
Jacobs (Sr., San Antonio) racked up a high tally for an early-season high Sunday in a 71-63 victory over the University of Minnesota-Duluth, scoring a career-high 16 points and pulling in a team-high 11 rebounds.
Jackie Woods (Jr., San Antonio) knocked down three 3-pointers against the Bulldogs (0-2) for part of her 19 points, and Morgan Pullins (So., Franklin, Mich.) added 14 in St. Mary’s (2-0) victory.
In her second career double-double, Jacobs had the mindset of simply playing her part against the Bulldogs.
“I came to do what Coach (Jason Martens) needed me to do,” says Jacobs, who also had three assists Sunday. “I came to rebound, I came to play defense, and I just did everything that was listed on the board in our scouting report.”
The Bulldogs might have had an inkling about St. Mary’s in their own scouting report based on the Rattlers’ 29-point victory over Cameron University Saturday, but Minnesota-Duluth couldn’t shake the Rattlers’ shooting as they nearly went 50 percent from the floor at 49.1 percent, 45.5 percent from behind the arc and 70 percent from the line.
The Rattlers were down only once throughout the entire game, for the first 50 seconds at 2-0, before Jacobs first put St. Mary’s in a lead that it would maintain for the rest of the contest with a 3-pointer that sparked the beginning of her double-double. The Rattlers led by nine at the half, 25-16, before the Bulldogs came charged in the second.
Minnesota-Duluth came dangerously close to pulling St. Mary’s from a two-game winning streak, breaking within five points seven minutes into the second half. But that’s when Woods started her run, scoring 14 of her total 19 points in the second half only to be backed up by Jacobs with 10 in the second half. Pullins also finished strong with eight of her 14 points coming in the second, while also playing big defensively as well, slapping away five steals and blocking two shots.
Although a low-scoring game started the contest, each team nearly doubled their points in the second half with the Bulldogs going from 16 to 47 points in the second and the Rattlers from 25-46 points in the frame. As the Bulldogs outscored the Rattlers in the second and came close to a comeback, St. Mary’s got an early look at how well they play with their set of new and returning members.
“Everyone’s just doing their role,” says Woods, who also tallied three assists and two steals Sunday. “When it’s your turn to shoot the ball, you shoot the ball.”
The Rattlers also got a preview of how pressure affects their game play during the second half, which came from the Bulldogs’ heavy presses and aggressive shooting that, according to Jacobs, has improved since last season.
“It showed a lot in the team,” says the current leading rebounder, Jacobs. “In past experiences, we buckle down when teams make a run. But we stuck together and we fought strong and we came out with the victory tonight.”
Other key contributors to the Rattlers’ second straight victory was Liz Boyd (Sr., San Antonio), who led with five assists and had nine points, four of which came from clutch free throws in the second half that helped drive in the win. Lia Kioa (Jr., Phoenix) also recorded six points, three assists and two steals.
The Rattlers will take their two-game winning streak on the road as they play their first road game of the season against Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo., at 7 p.m. Friday.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.