San Antonio–Natalie Gamez scored 23 points and added nine rebounds to lead the hot-shooting St. Mary’s University Rattlers to their fourth-straight win and the tournament title at the Lady Tiger Classic, 74-52, in women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Bill Vining Arena.

Gamez (Jr., San Antonio) hit on 6-of-8 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range to lead all scorers in the game with 23 points. She added team highs in rebounds (9), assists (5) and steals (3).

As a team the Rattlers hit on a sizzling 63.2 percent (12-of-19) three-pointers in the game. The percentage is the fourth highest single-game percentage in school history, behind the 78.6 percent that the Rattlers shot against East Central University earlier this season.

Though no other Rattlers scored in double figures four had eight or more points, led by Chastity Noble (So., El Paso) and Rachel Jones (Jr., Little Rock, Ark.) with nine points, while Jessie Smith (Jr., Boerne) and Juanita Merchant (Sr., Angleton), who had eight points each.

The Rattlers started the game by falling behind 11-3 over the first 4:41. But St. Mary’s started chipping away at the lead, tying the game at 13-13 and 15-15. However the Cotton Blossoms again retook the lead and led 22-15 with 9:20 left in the game. St. Mary’s responded by outscoring UAM 21-1 over the next nine minutes to take a commanding 36-26 lead at the break. St. Mary’s expanded their lead to as much as 23 points in the second half as the Rattlers rolled to the win.

For the game the Rattlers made 49.0 percent (24-49) of their shots from the field, while holding UAM to just 32.7 percent (18-55). Kristi Martin was the only player scoring in double figures for Monticello with 10 points.

With the win the Rattlers improved to 5-4 overall, winning their fourth straight game. Arkansas-Monticello fell to 5-3 overall. St. Mary’s will be off for the next 11 days before returning home to face Hillsdale College in the first round of the St. Mary’s Holiday Classic at 7:30 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena.

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