San Antonio – St. Mary’s University women’s basketball player Juanita Merchant was named Heartland Conference women’s basketball player of the week for her play against East Central University last week.

Merchant (Jr., Angleton) broke out of an early season slump to lead the Rattlers past East Central, 57-52 on Saturday. She scored a career-high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. She also dished out three assists and pulled down three rebounds. Her three-point basket with six seconds left in the first half gave the Rattlers a lead they would never relinquish. She also keyed a 9-0 run early in the second half with two three-point baskets, which gave St. Mary’s a 10-point advantage.

For the season she is averaging 4.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Prior to Saturday’s game she had scored just 28 points all season and made just five three pointers. She nearly matched both totals on Saturday alone. Her previous career high in scoring was 14 points, set against Montana State-Billings last season.

The Rattlers broke an eight-game losing streak last week and improved to 2-8 overall. St. Mary’s will return to action on Friday when its hosts Northeastern State University at 2 p.m. in Bill Greehey Arena.

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