LAREDO – St. Mary’s University rebounded from a tough loss to record its fifth win in the last six games, 63-48, over Texas A&M International University in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Thursday night at the Kinesiology and Convocation Center.
Coming off a tough, three-overtime loss in their last game, the Rattlers went back to basics, holding the Dustdevils to just 48 points on 36.0 percent (18-50) shooting from the field. The Rattlers also outrebounded TAMIU 33-26. It was the St. Mary’s bench that provided the biggest spark, scoring 36 of the Rattlers 63 points in the game.
The Dustdevils got off to a fast starting, taking a 10-5 lead on the Rattlers out of the gate. But St. Mary’s rebounded with Robert Owens (So., Oakwood) scoring four points to key a 5-0 run that tied things at 10-10. Just two minutes later Rod Bellard (So., Beaumont) put the Rattlers up for the first time with a three-pointer at the 11:02 mark. That basket started a 13-2 run that put St. Mary’s ahead by 25-17 with 6:48 to play in the first half. The Rattlers took a 31-24 lead into the locker room.
In the second half the Dustdevils cut the Rattler lead to as little as three points once, at 37-34 with 14:32 to play. But the Rattlers responded with a 6-0 run to take a nine-point lead and expanded that advantage to as much as 15 points in cruising to the victory.
Bellard came off the bench to lead the Rattlers with 12 points. Jawan Bailey (Jr., San Antonio) also came off the bench to score 11 points and pull down a game-high eight rebounds. Owens finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. Latez Williams (Jr., Hamilton, Ohio) was the only Rattlers starter in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.
As a team the Rattlers shot 52.5 percent (21-40) from the field, while holding the Dustdevils to 36.0 percent. The Rattlers also took 29 free throws, compared with just 12 for TAMIU. Chris Swan led all scorers with 13 points, while Angel Encinas added 12.
With the win the Rattlers improved to 9-7 overall on the season and are 2-1 in Heartland Conference play. St. Mary’s has won five of its last six games. TAMIU fell to 8-9 overall. The Rattlers will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Austin to face St. Edward’s University in the second game of a men’s/women’s doubleheader. The women will tip off at 6 p.m., with the men to follow at 8 p.m.