San Antonio – Kevin Kotzur scored a career-high 29 points and St. Mary’s University shot 54.3 percent as a team, leading the Rattlers to a 71-56 win over the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, in men’s basketball action Thursday night at Bill Greehey Arena. In the women’s game, the Rattlers overcame 26 turnovers to defeat UAFS, 67-56, for their seventh straight win.
Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) made 10-of-13 shots from the field and 9-of-11 shots from the free throw line to set a new career high in scoring. His previous career high was 24 points against Lincoln University on Jan. 2. Kotzur pulled down five rebounds and blocked two shots. Also scoring in double figures for the Rattlers was Darren Lee (Sr., Stockton, Calif.) with 11 points and Brad Hubenak (Fr., Kennedale, Texas) with 10 points.
The Rattlers only trailed twice in the game and a 10-1 run midway through the first half turned a tight game into a double-digit lead for the Rattlers. The Lions only cut the Rattler lead to single digits one time the rest of the way. St. Mary’s shot 54.3 percent (25-46) from the field and hit on 85.0 percent (17-20) of their free throws. The Rattlers also outrebounded the Lions, 35-26.
With the win, the Rattlers improved to 9-8 overall this season and they are 4-3 in Heartland Conference play. UAFS is now 3-14 this season. St. Mary’s will host Dallas Baptist University in a key Heartland Conference game this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Bill Greehey Arena. DBU and St. Mary’s are tied for third in the Heartland Conference standings.
The Rattler women struggled against Arkansas-Fort Smith, committing 26 turnovers and shooting just 35.4 percent (23-65) from the field. However, the Rattlers were able to force 35 turnovers and held UAFS to just 36.7 percent (18-49) shooting from the field.
Mallory Moeller (Jr., Seguin, Texas) came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points, pulled down 7 rebounds, made four steals and had two blocks in just 21 minutes of playing time. She hit on 6-of-7 shots from the field. Chastity Noble (Sr., El Paso, Texas) scored 13 points, while Nicole James (So., Indianapolis) added 11 points.
The game went back-and-forth in the first half, until a 9-2 run by the Rattlers at the end of the half, that turned a one-point Lion lead into a six-point Rattler lead at the half. The Rattlers never trailed again, but were unable to put the Lions away until the final five minutes.
With the win, the Rattlers have now won seven straight games. St. Mary’s is 14-5 overall and 6-1 in Heartland Conference play this season. UAFS is now 5-11. The Rattlers will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 28, when they travel to Wichita, Kan., to face Newman University at 5:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s (Texas) 71, Arkansas-Fort Smith 56