San Antonio – Natalie Gamez scored 22 points and the St. Mary’s University Rattlers made 11 of 14 three-point attempts in the game as they defeated East Central University, 73-58, in non-conference women’s basketball action Wednesday night at Bill Greehey Arena.
Gamez (Jr., San Antonio) hit on 8-of-12 shots from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range to lead all scorers with 22 points. It was the fourth time in five games this season that Gamez has scored 20 or more points. She also added a team-high seven rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes of action. As a team the Rattlers made 11-of-14 three-pointers, with three players making three three-pointers.
After a slow start to the game for the Rattlers, a big run gave St. Mary’s the lead they would never relinquish. The Tigers made nine of their first 12 shots to take a 15-5 lead with 13:24 left in the first half. But the Rattlers buckled down and outscored ECU 36-7 to end the half with a commanding 41-22 lead. The Rattlers made seven-of-eight three-pointers in the first half and hit on 57.1 percent (16-28) shots overall from the field.
In the second half the Tigers cut the lead to six once, but never were able to get closer than that. The Rattlers extended their lead to as much as 21 points before settling for the final margin of 15.
Gamez was one of three Rattlers to score in double figures in the game. Juanita Merchant (Sr., Angleton) came off the bench to score 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Merchant also had five rebounds, four assists and four steals in the game. Chastity Noble (So., El Paso) scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-3 from three-point range.
For the Tigers Jastin Flenory had 11 points, 10 rebounds and a school-record 11 steals for a triple-double. Lacey Goldwire (16 points), Kacey Thomas (15 points) and Kristie Dodgion (10 points) also scored in double figures for ECU.
With the win the Rattlers improved to 2-4 overall and are 2-0 at home this season. East Central suffered its first loss of the season and is now 3-1. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Austin to face Huston-Tillotson University at 2 p.m.