DURANT, Okla. – Five St. Mary’s University players scored in double figures, as the Rattlers bounced back from their first loss of the season with a hard-fought 67-63 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State University in non-conference women’s basketball action Saturday night at Southeastern Arena.

The Rattlers wrapped up their season-opening four-game road trip by controlling the action throughout the game. They never trailed by more than three points in the game and led by as much as 11 points. The Rattlers shot 41.0 percent (25-61) from the field, including 46.2 percent (6-13) from three-point range.

After leading for most of the game, the Rattlers fell behind early in the second half. Ashley Tucker scored five points to key a 9-2 Savage Storm run, giving SOSU a 37-36 lead. That lead expanded to three points on a pair of Jasmine Hughey free throws with 14:22 left in the game. However, the Rattlers took control with a 17-3 run that gave them a 56-45 lead with 7:34 left. Ashton Benford (Sr., Waxahachie) scored eight of her 17 points during the run that gave the Rattlers a lead they would not relinquish. The Savage Storm cut the Rattler lead to just one point with 50 seconds left, but on the next possession for St. Mary’s Natalie Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) nailed a three-pointer that put the Rattlers up by four points and sealed the win.

Benford hit on 8-of-14 shots from the field to lead all players with 17 points. She added eight rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. Rachel Jones (Sr., Little Rock, Ark.) scored 12 points, added nine rebounds and four assists for the Rattlers. Gamez and Farren Fox (Jr., Marble Falls) each had 11 points, while Chastity Noble (Jr., El Paso) added 10 points on three three-pointers.

With the win the Rattlers improved to 3-1 overall, while SOSU fell to 2-2. St. Mary’s will return to action on Tuesday as a part of the “Double the Madness” night. The women’s basketball team will face Huston-Tillotson at 5:30 p.m., while the men will take the court at 7:30 p.m. against Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The event will feature a tailgate, contests, prizes, free food, drinks and t-shirts.

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