Jefferson City, Mo. – Lincoln University made 65.4 percent of their shots from the field in the second half, helping the Blue Tigers to a 64-58 upset win over St. Mary’s University in Heartland Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Jason Gymnasium.
St. Mary’s took a 23-22 lead into the locker room after a first half in which neither team shot better than 30 percent from the field and committed a combined 20 turnovers. A three-point play by Ashton Benford (So., Waxahachie) with 16:21 remaining gave St. Mary’s a 34-29 lead. But the Blue Tigers responded with a 9-0 run to take a 38-34 lead with 13:17 remaining in the game.
Natalie Gamez (So., San Antonio) made a jump shot to cut the lead to two points. Charlena Rodez (Sr., Cedar Park) made one of two free throws to make it a one-point game and Juanita Merchant (Jr., Angleton) made a jump shot to give the Rattlers the lead again at 39-38. A three-pointer by Brezette Elder-Wade rallied the Blue Tigers to a 41-39 lead with 11:44 left, but Merchant came back with a three-pointer of her own to give the lead back to the Rattlers at 42-41 with 11:28 to play. Rodez followed with a jump shot to expand the lead to three.
But the Blue Tigers came back with a jump shot by Tiffannie Wolfe and a fast-break layup by Rachell Watkins to take back the lead. Cherika Ramsey completed the 6-0 run with a jump shot to make it a three-point lead. From there the Rattlers never were able to get the lead back.
Merchant led the Rattlers with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. Rodez added 13 points, while Gamez had 12 points and seven rebounds. Washington led Lincoln with 15 points, while Elder-Wade had 14 points for the Blue Tigers.
With the loss the Rattlers have dropped their last two games and are 6-13 overall, including 2-3 in Heartland Conference play. Lincoln improved to 3-16 and 1-4. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday, February 3, at 6 p.m. at the University of Incarnate Word.