February 28, 2009
San Antonio – Eighteen ranked St. Mary’s University outscored Lincoln University 48-13 in the second half and rolled to an easy 79-36 win over Lincoln University in the regular season Heartland Conference women’s basketball finale for both teams Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.
With the win St. Mary’s finished the regular season with a 23-4 overall record and a 12-2 mark in Heartland Conference. The Rattlers clinched the outright Heartland Conference with the win. They will host the Heartland Conference Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena. Game times will be announced this week.
The Rattlers only trailed once in the game at 10-9 with 15:30 left in the first half, but Lincoln kept the game relatively close in the first half. The Blue Tigers actually outshot the Rattlers 42.1 percent (8-19) to 40.6 percent (13-32). The Rattlers took a 31-23 lead in the break at the half thanks in large part to 15 Blue Tiger turnovers, which led to 13 points.
The game quickly turned into a rout in the second half as the Rattlers started the second half with a 32-4 run over the first 11:35 of the second half. Natalie Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) hit two three-pointers in the first 1:29 to kick-start the run. St. Mary’s hit on 55.9 percent (19-34) from the field and 62.5 percent (5-8) from three-point range. Defensively they held Lincoln to just 21.7 percent (5-23) shooting from the field. In the game St. Mary’s outrebounded the Blue Tigers 45-21 and forced 26 turnovers.
All 15 Rattlers scored at least two points in the game. Gamez led the team with 13 points, while Chastity Noble (Jr., El Paso) and Amber Sophus (Fr., Houston) each added 10 points. Lesleigh Phillips (Fr., San Antonio) scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds in just 13 minutes.
Excitement is building as the Rattlers move up in the national and regional polls because St. Mary’s will host the NCAA Division II Women’s Elite 8 (March 24, 25 and 27) and the Heartland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament (March 6 and 7) in Bill Greehey Arena.