San Antonio – Nick Morey scored a team-high 18 points and hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch, helping St. Mary’s University to a tough, 60-55, win over Texas A&M-International in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Thursday night at Bill Greehey Arena.
Morey (Sr., Belpre, Ohio) made 6-of-14 shots from the field to lead the Rattlers. He also pulled down nine rebounds to just miss a double-double. Jeff Campbell (Fr., Allen) made just his second start of the season and rewarded the Rattlers with 15 points, four assists and four steals. Curtis Mitchell (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.) scored 11 points, including three three-pointers.
The Rattlers led the entire second half and second by 13 points at 55-42 with 6:40 left to play. But the Dustdevils rallied. Sean Tucker’s three-pointer ignited a 13-5 run over the final six minutes and when Tucker hit a driving jumper with 16 seconds left the score was 57-55 St. Mary’s. Morey was fouled on the inbound and made 1-of-2 shots from the free throw line. That left TAMIU an opening, but Campbell quickly closed it, stealing the ball from Matthews Smith, then dunking it as time expired for the final margin.
Tucker led the Dustdevils with 20 points, Ignacio Garcia had 12. As a team TAMIU shot just 31.1 percent (14-45) from the field. St. Mary’s didn’t fare much better, making 33.3 percent (19-57) of its shots.
St. Mary’s came out of the gate on fire. They held the Dustdevils to just 1-of-15 shooting over the first 12:36 of the game and took a 16-point lead at 23-7. But the Rattlers went ice-cold after that, and were outscored 22-8 over the final eight minutes to take a 31-29 lead into the locker room.
With the win the Rattlers improved to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in Heartland Conference play this season. TAMIU fell to 4-11, 2-3. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday when they host the University of the Incarnate Word in the second game of a women’s/men’s doubleheader. The women will tip-off at 2 p.m., with the men to follow at 4:30 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena. A live audio broadcast and live stats will be available on www.rattlersathletics.com.