San Antonio – Chastity Noble scored a season-high 17 points and 20th-ranked St. Mary’s University led from start to finish in a 65-59 win over the University of the Incarnate Word in Heartland Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at the McDermott Center.

Noble (Jr., El Paso) hit on 5-of-6 shots from three-point range to score a game-high 17 points. Rachel Jones (Sr., Little Rock, Ark.) made 5-of-11 shots to score 14 points. She also dished out four assists and made three steals in the win. Natalie Gamez (Sr., San Antonio) returned to the lineup after missing the last two games and picked up a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes of action.

The Rattlers trailed just once in the game, 1-0, on a Cinnamon Kava free throw 18:40 left in the half. The Rattlers responded with a 5-0 run to take the lead and never trailed again. The game was still tight at 17-14 with 9:40 left in the first half. The Rattlers went on a 13-1 run to take a commanding 30-15 lead with 4:01 remaining in the half. Noble made two of her five three-pointers to key the run, and made another trey with nine seconds left to give St. Mary’s a 35-19 lead at the break.

In the second half UIW slowly cut into the Rattler lead and Hayley Harvey pulled the Cardinals to within six at 43-37 on a free throw with 13:09 left to play. The score capped a 9-0 run by UIW. However, Noble responded with back-to-back three-pointers to give the Rattlers a 12-point lead with 9:29 left in the game. The Cardinals continued to rally and Kava made it a four-point game with 31 seconds left on a three-pointer. Gamez made four free throws and scored six of her 10 points over the final two minutes to help the Rattlers preserve the lead.

St. Mary’s hit on 38.1 percent (24-63) of their shots from the field in the game, including 66.7 percent (6-9) of their shots from three-point range. They held UIW to just 38.6 percent shooting (22-57) in the game and forced 17 UIW turnovers.

With the win St. Mary’s improved to 21-3 overall and 11-1 in Heartland Conference play. UIW fell to 17-8, 9-3. The Rattlers will return to action on Monday when they travel to Laredo to face Texas A&M International University for the first game of a women’s/men’s doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m.

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