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Team Effort Leads St. Mary’s Past Okla. Panhandle

San Antonio – Four St. Mary’s University Rattlers scored in double figures offensively, while the Rattlers held Oklahoma Panhandle State to 26 points below their average in an 80-56 win in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Saturday night at Bill Greehey Arena.

Leading by 10 points at the half, the Rattlers quickly put the game away early in the second period. St. Mary’s started the second half with a 9-0 run to turn the game into a runaway at 44-25 with 17:55 left in the game. The lead would increase to as much as 26 points as the Rattlers emptied the bench in the decisive victory.

The Rattlers used their strong post play and some poor shooting by the Aggies to take command early in the first half. The Aggies made just two of their first 14 shots as St. Mary’s started the game with a 14-5 run over the first eight minutes. Corey Harbert’s (Jr., San Antonio) three-pointer with 10:31 left in the period gave the Rattlers a 10-point edge at 19-9. Thanks to some strong play off the bench by Marques Loftis, the Aggies rallied and cut the lead to just three at 26-23 with 4:35 left in the period. But St. Mary’s ended the half with a 9-2 run to take a 35-25 lead at halftime.

Four Rattlers reached double figures in scoring, led by Latez Williams (Sr., Hamilton, Ohio) with 14 points. Marcus Hill (Sr., Longview) had 13 points and Robert Owens (Jr., Oakwood) added 11. Lorenzo Anthony (Jr., San Antonio) had a strong all-around game, picking up 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

As a team the Rattlers hit on 56.1 percent (32-57) of their shots from the field, including 60.0 percent (18-30) in the second half. St. Mary’s also outrebounded the Aggies 41-31.

OPSU hit on just 33.3 percent (19-57) from the field in the game. The only Aggie to score in double figures was Will Stephenson with 12 points. OPSU came into the game averaging 82 points per game, but never were able to get into a consistent offensive flow.

With the win the Rattlers won their sixth game in the last eight and improved to 11-8 overall, 4-1 in Heartland Conference play, just one-half game behind St. Edward’s University, the conference leader. OPSU fell to 8-10, 1-4. St. Mary’s will return to action on Thursday when they host Dallas Baptist University in a Heartland Conference matchup starting at 7:30 p.m.