San Antonio–St. Mary’s University rallied from 15 points down against 25th-ranked Washburn University, but fell just short, dropping a 77-75 decision to the Ichabods in the final game of the River City Classic men’s basketball tournament Tuesday night at Bill Greehey Arena.
The Rattlers fell behind big early for the second straight night and nearly completed what would have been an incredible comeback, but fell just short again. A 14-3 run in the closing minutes of the first half turned a close game into a 15-point advantage for Washburn. A Latez Williams (Sr., Hamilton, Ohio) three-point play at the buzzer closed the gap to 12 points at the break.
St. Mary’s came out of the locker room a different team and began the long road back. With 11:56 to play the Rattlers still trailed by 14 points and looked to be out of luck. But Rod Bellard (Jr., Beaumont) hit back-to-back three-pointers to make it an eight point game and when Marcus Hill (Sr., Longview) made a pair of free throws with 5:28 left to play it was a four-point game at 67-63.
The Rattlers pulled to within three points on a free throw by Allen Coleman (Sr., Corpus Christi) with 1:52 to play, but the Ichabods responded with a three-pointer by Angel Santiago with 1:36 left. But Bellard hit his final three-pointer of the game with 13 seconds left and was fouled. The four-point play made it a two-point game at 75-73. However Andrew Meile sank two free throws with 11 seconds to play and a Hill layup at the buzzer left the Rattlers two points away in the end.
Williams led the way for the Rattlers with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Robert Owens (Jr., Oakwood) and Bellard had 13 points each. As a team the Rattlers hit on 52.2 percent (24-46) of their shots from the field.
Brady Sisk led four Ichabods scoring in double figures with 17 points. As a team Washburn made 50.0 percent (26-52) of their shots from the field.
With the loss the Rattlers fell to 5-5 overall and have lost two in a row. Washburn is now 8-1 overall. St. Mary’s will be off for the next 11 days before facing Midwestern State University on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. in Wichita Falls.
Tuesday Results at the River City Classic
Game 6 – (#13) Northwest Missouri State 84, (#21) Central Oklahoma 77
Game 7 – (#18) Emporia State 76, Ouachita Baptist 70
Game 8 – Southeastern Oklahoma State 77, Missouri Western State 70
Game 9 – (#17) Pittsburg State 58, Angelo State 54
Game 10 – (#25) Washburn 77, St. Mary’s 75