San Antonio–Dallas Baptist University used a nearly perfect night from the free throw line to hold off a second half rally by St. Mary’s University for a 72-68 win in the semifinals of the Heartland Conference Tournament, held Friday night at the McDermott Center.

Dallas Baptist used a 17-0 run in the first half to take a commanding 21-6 lead with 8:55 left in the period. St. Mary’s was able to rally and cut the lead to just six point at the break, 27-21.

In the second half the Rattlers continued to close in on the Patriots and took the lead for the first time since the opening moments of the game on a Curtis Mitchell (Jr., Wilwaukee, Wis.) jumper with 18:02 left to play. From there the teams traded the lead five more times before DBU took the lead for good on a Eddie Gloviak layup  with 12:31 to go. The Rattlers tied the game once and pulled to within one three more times. But the Patriots phenomenal shooting from the free throw line was the difference. DBU hit on 27-of-30 shots from the free throw line in the game, while St. Mary’s made just 10-of-23.

Mitchell led the Rattlers with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Lorenzo Anthony (Sr., San Antonio) was a perfect 7-fo-7 from the field for 16 points.

With the loss the Rattlers saw the 2008-2009 season come to an end with a 17-11 record. Dallas Baptist moved on to the Heartland Conference Tournament Championship against the University of the Incarnate Word on Saturday at 6 p.m. Dallas Baptist is now 23-5 overall this season.

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