AUSTIN — From an 0-4 start to a potential bid in the national tournament, the Lady Rattlers came one step closer to completing their remarkable turnaround, holding off a late St. Edward’s surge Wednesday night in Austin to down the Hilltoppers 63-59 in the conference semifinals.
Junior post Charlena Rodez led the charge with 21 points, while sophomore post Flavia Azinheira pitched in 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Rattlers (16-12) led by double digits throughout portions of the game, but a defensive stand with less than a minute remaining ensured the victory.
Following the game, players and coaches anxiously awaited results from the Oklahoma Panhandle State-Montana State-Billings game, as the Lady Rattlers would host the conference tournament finals if No. 4 Panhandle State could upset the No. 1-ranked Yellowjackets.
And sure enough, Panhandle State overcame a double-digit first-half deficit, meaning the Lady Rattlers will host the finals Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena.
St. Mary’s defeated Oklahoma Panhandle State 77-62 at home on Feb. 11, but fell on the road 74-66 on Jan. 27.