JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.–Mallory Moeller scored 16 points as St. Mary’s University won its 22nd straight game, defeating Lincoln University 67-51 in women’s basketball action Saturday night at Jason Gym. With the win the Rattlers clinched the top seed in the Heartland Conference Tournament and finished the 2007-08 regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in conference play.
The Rattlers struggled in the first half, shooting just 27.6 percent (8-29) from the field, committing 12 turnovers and trailing at the break 30-28. However, the Rattlers turned things around in the second half, hitting on 48.4 percent from the field and committing just four turnovers as they pulled away for the victory.
Moeller (Fr., Seguin) hit a short jumper just 11 seconds into the second half Natalie Gamez (Jr., San Antonio) hit on back-to-back buckets and Juanita Merchant (Sr., Angleton) added a jumper as the Rattlers completed a 14-2 run started at the end of the first half to take a seven-point lead at 39-32. The Tigers cut the Rattler lead to just four twice, then St. Mary’s went on an 18-4 run midway through the second half to take a commanding 18-point lead at 61-43.
Moeller made 5-of-7 shots from the field and 6-of-8 shots from the free throw line to score the game-high 16 points. She added six rebounds and four steals. Gamez scored nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while dishing out three assists. Tasha Morgan led Lincoln with 13 points and eight rebounds.
St. Mary’s improved to 23-4 overall and is 14-0 in Heartland Conference play. The Rattlers finished undefeated in conference play for the first time since the 2001-02 season. St. Mary’s will be the top seed in the upcoming Heartland Conference Tournament, which begins on Friday in Denton.