San Antonio – Natalie Gamez scored 25 points and St. Mary’s University held the University of the Incarnate Word to just 25.4 percent shooting from the field as the Rattlers rolled past the Cardinals, 60-38, in Heartland Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.

Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) hit on 9-of-16 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range to top the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season. She also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and four assists in the game. Also reaching double figures for the Rattlers was Mallory Moeller (So., Seguin) with 11 points and six rebounds, and Rachel Jones (Sr., Little Rock, Ark.) with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first half with three ties and nine lead changes. UIW had a one-point lead after two free throws by Hayley Harvey with 10:01 left in the first half. That was when the Rattlers took control of the game. They finished the half by outscoring the Cardinals 16-4 to take a commanding 33-22 lead at the break. Farren Fox (Jr., Marble Falls) put the exclamation point on the half when she blocked Kristen Horde’s shot with two seconds left in the half to preserve a double-digit lead. The Rattlers simply ran away from the Cardinals in the second half, never leading by less than 12 points and pushing their lead to as much as 22 points.

St. Mary’s held the Cardinals to just 6-of-28 shots (21.4%) from the field in the second half. The Cardinals also committed 10 turnovers in the second half. St. Mary’s shot 43.4 percent (23-53) in the game, including 42.9 percent (6-14) from three-point range.

The 22-point margin of victory for the Rattlers was the third largest in the 21-year history of the series. The second-ever meeting between the teams resulted in a 45-point win for the Rattlers, while the 1999-2000 Rattlers defeated the Cardinals by 26 points. The 38 points is the second fewest ever scored by the Cardinals against the Rattlers, topped only by the 34 points UIW scored in the 60-34 Rattler win on Feb. 12, 2000.

With the win the Rattlers have now won five straight games and are 16-2 overall, 5-0 in Heartland Conference play this season. UIW fell to 11-7, 3-2. St. Mary’s will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Odessa, to play the University of Texas of the Permian Basin at 5:30 p.m.

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