San Antonio – Ashton Benford was named Heartland Conference Women’s Basketball co-Player of the Week for her play last week against Montana State University-Billings and Lincoln University, it was announced by the league office on Tuesday. Benford shared the honor with Nia Torru of the University of the Incarnate Word.

Benford (So., Waxahachie) nearly averaged a double-double for the Rattlers, picking up 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as St. Mary’s went 1-1. She scored 16 points and added 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She hit on 7-of-10 shots from the field against the Yellowjackets. For the season she is averaging 10.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game – second best in the Heartland Conference.

Benford is the third Rattler to earn Heartland Player of the Week honors this season. Juanita Merchant (Jr., Angleton) earned the honor for the week of Dec. 11-17, while Charlena Rodez (Sr., Cedar Park) duplicated the feat for the week of Dec. 25-31.

St. Mary’s is currently 9-14 overall and is 4-4 in Heartland Conference play. The Rattlers will return to action on Friday when they host Texas A&M-International University in a Heartland Conference matchup at 5:30 p.m.

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