January 23, 2009
San Antonio – St. Mary’s University and the University of the Incarnate Word will renew their long-running rivalry on the basketball court Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena. The women’s game will tip-off at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on CBS College Sports Network. The men’s game will follow at 4:30 p.m.
The Rattler women continued their strong play Thursday night, defeating Texas A&M-International for their fourth straight win. St. Mary’s enters Saturday’s game with a 15-2 overall record and a 4-0 mark in Heartland Conference play. The Rattlers’ calling card this season has been its defense as they have allowed just four teams to score 70 or more points this season and are undefeated when opponents score less than 70 points. Natalie Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) leads the way individually, scoring 17.8 points, while pulling down 6.3 rebounds per contest.
The Cardinals rebounded from a surprising loss to Texas A&M-International last Saturday, defeating St. Edward’s Thursday night on the road, 67-55. The win improved UIW’s record to 11-6 overall this season and 3-1 in Heartland Conference play. Individually three Cardinals are scoring in double figures, led by junior Nia Torru. Torru is averaging 18.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest. She is making 46.8 percent of her shots from the field, including 42.2 percent from three-point range. Cinnamon Kava (13.6) and Hayley Harvey (12.9) are also averaging in double figures.
The Rattlers lead the all-time series between the teams, 25-21 and have won the last three meetings. St. Mary’s leads the series on their home campus, 11-10, including a 5-3 margin at Bill Greehey Arena. Last season St. Mary’s swept the season series, 46-44 at UIW and 79-65 at Bill Greehey Arena.
The Rattler men (8-8 overall, 3-2 Heartland Conference) are coming off a tough 60-55 win against Texas A&M International University Thursday night. The win gave the Rattlers wins in three of their last four games and kept them in the race for the conference title. St. Mary’s is just one game behind league leader UIW, who is 4-1 in league play after a 92-88 win against St. Edward’s in Austin Thursday night. The Cardinals hit on an amazing 15-of-22 three-point shots in the game to pick up the win. UIW is 12-4 overall this season.
Nick Morey (Sr., Belpre, Ohio) has been the Rattlers offensively leader, averaging 17.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Marlon Smith (Fr., San Antonio) has made a significant impact in his first year with the Rattlers, averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Lorenzo Anthony (Sr., San Antonio) is the Rattlers catalyst on defense. The reigning Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Year has again been one of the top defenders in the league, averaging 4.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals.
This will be the 56th meeting all-time between the teams, with the Rattlers leading the series 31-24. The series is tied at 13-13 on the St. Mary’s campus and is tied 5-5 at Bill Greehey Arena. UIW edged the Rattlers 83-80 in overtime last season at Bill Greehey Arena. The Rattlers won the season series against the Cardinals last season, defeating UIW on the road, falling in overtime at home and then edging the Cardinals 62-56 in Denton in the first round of the Heartland Conference Tournament.
A live audio broadcast and live stats of both games will be available on www.rattlersathletics.com.