San Antonio – St. Mary’s University women’s basketball player Natalie Gamez was named Heartland Conference Player of the Week for her play last week against St. Edward’s University, it was announced by the league office on Thursday.

Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) helped lead the Rattlers to a tough 67-65 win on the road against St. Edward’s as the 16th-ranked Rattlers remained undefeated in Heartland Conference play. She scored 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and made 3-of-6 three-pointers. Her perfect performance from the free throw line (7-of-7) included four straight in the final minute as the Rattlers preserved the lead. For the season, Gamez is averaging 18.2, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.4 three-pointers and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, including 41.1 percent from three-point range. She has reached double figures in scoring in 19 of 21 games, including 11 games with 20 or more points.

The award marks the fourth time this season that Gamez has earned Heartland Conference Player of the Week honors. She is the only Rattler to earn the award this season.

Excitement is building as Gamez and the Rattlers move up in the national and regional polls because St. Mary’s University will host the NCAA Division II Women’s Elite 8 (March 24, 25 and 27) and could have the opportunity to host the Heartland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament (March 6 and 7) and the NCAA South Central Region Tournament (March 13-17) in Bill Greehey Arena.

The Rattlers will return to action tonight when they host Oklahoma Panhandle State University in a Heartland Conference game at 5:30 p.m. The Rattler men’s basketball game will start at 8 p.m. Both teams will be at home this Saturday. The women will be helping to raise funds for the Kay Yow Foundation for Cancer Research.

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