LAREDO – Texas A&M International University rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat St. Mary’s University, 61-51, in Heartland Conference women’s basketball action Thursday night at the Kinesiology and Convocation Center.

The Rattlers turned up the defensive pressure and dominated the first half of the game. In the first half the Rattlers committed just three turnovers, while forcing 13 by Texas A&M-International. The Rattlers shot 36.4 percent from the field and held TAMIU to just 25.0 percent (5-20). St. Mary’s took a 28-18 lead into the locker room at the break.

But in the second half the Rattlers were not able to sustain the pressure. The Dustdevils put the Rattlers in foul trouble early and St. Mary’s shot just 25.8 percent in the second half. TAMIU took 20 second half free throws, making 17, compared with just nine free throw for the Rattlers. That discrepancy alone was enough to lift the Dustdevils to the come-from-behind win.

Natalie Gamez (So., San Antonio) led the Rattlers with 15 points and eight rebounds. Charlena Rodez (Sr., Cedar Park) had 12 points. Jermina Thomlinson led all scorers with 22 points, while Vanessa Villarreal (18 points) and Nicole Gipson (10) also scored in double figures for the Dustdevils.

With the loss the Rattlers fell to 5-11 overall, while TAMIU improved to 3-7 on the season. St. Mary’s will return to the court on Saturday at 6 p.m. when they will take on Heartland Conference foe St. Edward’s University at 6 p.m. in Austin.

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