AUSTIN–St. Edward’s University shot a sizzling 65.9 percent from the field and pulled away in the second half for a 71-56 win over St. Mary’s University in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Thursday night at the Recreation and Convocation Center.

The Rattlers took the lead thanks to an 11-0 run that turned a 6-2 deficit into a 13-6 lead. Nick Morey (Belpre, Ohio) and Marcus Hill (Sr., Longview) each had two baskets during the run. St. Mary’s still led 16-9 on a three-point play by Latez Williams (Sr., Hamilton, Ohio), but went cold after that. Over the final 12:02 the Hilltoppers outscored St. Mary’s 25-10 to take a 34-26 lead into the locker room at the break. Hill almost single-handedly kept the Rattlers in the game with 13 first half points.

The Hilltoppers shot 68.2 percent (15-22) in the first half and never let up in the second half, hitting on 63.2 percent (12-19) of their shots from the field in the second half. The Rattlers cut the deficit to just eight points on two different occassions, but five second half three-pointers held the Rattlers at bay.

Hill led the Rattlers with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. The only other player to score in double figures for the Rattlers was Williams with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Four Hilltoppers scored in double figures, led by Daniel Pierre with 12 points.

The Rattlers fell to 8-7 overall with the loss and 2-1 in Heartland Conference play. St. Edward’s improved to 11-4 and 3-0. St. Mary’s will return to action on Monday when they travel across town to take on rival the University of the Incarnate Word in a pivotal Heartland Conference matchup at 8 p.m.

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