San Antonio – St. Edward’s broke open a tight game late and ended St. Mary’s University’s four-game win streak with a 62-55 win in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Monday night at Bill Greehey Arena.
St. Edward’s started the second half by expanding its lead to 10 points at 38-28 on a Cory Griffin layup with 15:49 to play. Robert Owens (So., Oakwood) then started a 15-3 run with a driving layup. A three-pointer by Rod Bellard (So., Beaumont) made it a five-point game, and after an exchange of baskets Jarvis Lee (Sr., Houston) cut the lead to just two on a long jumper. An acrobatic tip-in off a rebound by Latez Williams (Jr., Hamilton, Ohio) tied the game at 39-39 with 11:08 left to play. After a missed shot by the Hilltoppers, Lee gave the Rattlers their first lead since early in the game with a long jump shot to make the score 41-39. Taylor Mullenax tied things at 41-41 with a layup on the next possession. Over the next six minutes the teams traded the lead six times, while there were eight tie scores as neither team was able to establish any consistent momentum.
Zimmer finally gave the Hilltoppers a two-possession lead with his three-pointer at the 1:35 mark, making the score 56-52. The Rattlers turned the ball over on their next possession and Taylor Land made a pair of free throws to put the Hilltoppers up 58-52 with 34 seconds left to play. Lee missed a three-point attempt and the Hilltoppers iced the game with free throws.
Hill led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. He was the only Rattler to reach double figures in scoring. Owens finished with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds. Three Hilltoppers led the way with 10 points, Jeff Obersteller, Zimmer and Cornelius Gilleylen. For the game the Hilltoppers shot 59.4 (19-32) from the field and 80.8 percent (21-26) from the free throw line. The Rattlers hit on 44.2 percent (19-43) of their shots from the field and 48.3 percent (14-29) of their shots from the free throw line.
St. Mary’s took an early 8-7 lead at the 16:41 mark of the first half of play behind a Dominique Richardson (Jr., San Antonio) three-pointer and a three-point play by Owens. However, the Hilltoppers came back with an 11-2 run, keyed by five points by Jannik Zimmer to take an 18-10 lead with 9:22 to play in the half.
After the Rattlers cut the lead to four on a Marcus Hill (So., Longview) layup at 18-14, SEU went on an 8-0 run to take a 12-point advantage at 26-14 with 4:37 left to in the period. With the score 30-20 with 1:27 left the Rattlers scored back-to-back baskets by Owens and Hill to cut the lead to just six at 30-24 with 29 seconds left. Two Zimmer free throws with four seconds in the half gave the Hilltoppers a 32-24 edge at the break.
At halftime of the game St. Mary’s held a special ceremony to name the court at Bill Greehey Arena after former head coach Herman “Buddy” Meyer and his wife Anna for their years of service to the university.
St. Mary’s will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Goodwell, Okla., for their final Heartland Conference game of the season, against Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 8 p.m.