San Antonio – Mikyl Bradshaw’s short jump shot with 11 seconds left was the difference as the University of the Incarnate Word edged St. Mary’s University 96-94 in three overtimes in a Heartland Conference men’s basketball classic Monday night at Bill Greehey Arena.

The teams battled back and forth for three overtimes before Bradshaw finally ended the near-three hour affair. Down by a point in the third overtime Lee (Sr., Houston) hit a three-pointer, to give St. Mary’s a 90-88 lead with 1:24 left to play. Paul Connolly ran past Allen Coleman (Jr., Corpus Christi) and scored on a layup to tie things at 90-90 with 1:03 to go. Rod Bellard (So., Beaumont) gave the Rattlers a two-point lead again with a short jumper with 50 seconds left to play. Back came the Cardinals again with Bradshaw hitting a three-pointer to put UIW up by one with 35 seconds to play. Lee responded with a jump shot with 18 seconds left, setting up Bradshaw’s final basket seven seconds later.

Lee finished the game with 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field, and 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. His total was a career high, topping his previous high of 26, set against Notre Dame de Namur last season. He was one of five Rattlers to score in double figures. Marcus Hill (So., Longview) had 14 points, while Jawan Bailey (Jr., San Antonio) had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Coleman had 11 points and Bellard added 10 for the Rattlers.

Travis Tennison and Jason Gant led UIW with 17 points each. Antario Williams and Pierce Caldwell had 15 points, while Bradshaw finished with 14.

After struggling from the free throw line in regulation, the Cardinals took full advantage of their shots from the charity stripe in overtime. They took 24 free throws in the three overtimes, hitting on 19 of them. For the game they took 51 and made 33. In comparison St. Mary’s had only 30 free throw attempts, making 18.

The second half was a roller coaster ride with the Rattlers completing a 20-3 run started in the first half to take a 39-32 lead with 15:37 left in the second half. They would expand that lead to as much as 11 points with 11:04 left to play. But UIW started their comeback soon after that. A three-point play by Williams with 4:04 left in the half gave the Cardinals a 56-54 lead. They expanded that lead to three, but Bailey hit a three-pointer with four seconds left to second the game into overtime.

The first half was dominated by Incarnate Word, before a late Rattler run made it a ballgame heading into the halftime break. With 6:59 left in the first period the Cardinals took a 23-14 lead on a Tennison layup. The Rattlers cut the lead back to five, but back-to-back baskets by Gant with 1:38 left to play gave UIW a 10-point advantage at 29-19. Lee then hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to seven. A steal by Coleman led to a layup. He was also fouled on the play to cut the UIW lead to five at 29-24. Bailey hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game. UIW then held for the final shot, but Bailey made the last of his four blocks in the half, leading to a Coleman fast break layup to cut the deficit at the half to just one at 29-28.

With the loss the Rattlers fell to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in Heartland Conference play. They also saw their four-game win streak come to an end. UIW improved to 7-8 and 3-1. St. Mary’s will return to action on Thursday when it travel to Laredo to take on Texas A&M-International in a men’s/women’s doubleheader. The women will take the court at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.

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