San Antonio – Natalie Gamez scored 25 points, but poor shooting in the second half sunk St. Mary’s University, who fell to Ouachita Baptist University, 77-69, in the final game of the St. Mary’s New Year’s Women’s Basketball Classic Wednesday night at Bill Greehey Arena.
Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) hit on 8-of-18 shots from the field and made all eight of her free throws to record her 25 points. However, Gamez also led the team with eight turnovers. As a team the Rattlers committed 15 turnovers. Farren Fox (Jr., Marble Falls) picked up a double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Ashton Benford (Sr., Waxahachie) reached double figures for the second straight game with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The game was close for most of the second half and the Rattlers took the lead back with 3:46 left to play on a pair of free throws by Chastity Noble (Jr., El Paso). However, the Tigers responded by scoring the next five points, including a three-pointer by Maranda Parker, to retake the lead at 69-65 with 2:05 to play. Fox cut the deficit to four points with a pair of free throws with 1:17 left, but that was as close as the Rattlers would get.
The first half was back and forth with seven lead changes and four ties. OBU ran out to a quick six-point lead at 8-2, but the Rattlers rallied with an 8-0 run to take the lead. St. Mary’s would increase the lead to as much as four points, but OBU took the lead into the locker room thanks to a free throw by Tamara Robinson with five seconds left.
In the first game of the day Eastern New Mexico University improved to 8-6 this season with an 89-75 win over Texas A&M-International. ENMU finished the tournament with a 1-1 record, while TAMIU fell to 0-2 in the tournament and 3-9 overall.
St. Mary’s fell to 11-2 with the loss on Wednesday and saw its nine-game win streak end. The loss also ended a 21-game home win streak for the Rattlers that dated back to the 2006-2007 season. Ouachita Baptist improved to 8-2 overall. The Rattlers will return to action on Thurs., Jan. 8 when they open Heartland Conference play at Lincoln University, starting at 5:30 p.m.