San Antonio – St. Mary’s University held Oklahoma Panhandle State University scoreless for 14 minutes in the first half and cruised to a 56-38 victory in Heartland Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.

After falling behind early in the first, the Rattlers turned up the defensive intensity to an incredible level. With 14:06 left in the half, the Rattlers trailed against OPSU, 9-4. However, over the next 13:25, the Rattlers forced 14 turnovers and the Aggies missed 11 straight shots. St. Mary’s took advantage of the defensive effort, going on a 19-0 run to turn the 5-point deficit into a 16-point lead at the half at 27-11. St. Mary’s had its own struggles in the first half, hitting on just 29.6 percent (8-27) from the field. But DeAnna Patterson (So., Converse) made a pair of 3-pointers and Kristin Williams (Jr., Kansas City) scored 9 points and pulled down 5 rebounds in the first half alone to lead the Rattlers.

The Rattlers came out of the locker room cold to start the second half. OPSU turned that advantage into a 7-2 run, cutting the Rattler lead to just 11 at 29-18. But Liz Boyd (Fr., San Antonio) and Patterson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to get the Rattler lead back up to 15 points and when Williams returned to the game in the 12th minute, the tide turned for good. Williams scored 9 points in just 3:29 to help the Rattlers increase their lead to 23 points. From there, the Rattlers were never headed.

Williams led all scorers with 18 points and 7 rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Patterson came off the bench to score 11 points and pulled down 4 rebounds. No players scored in double figures for OPSU.

With the win St. Mary’s improved to 17-6 overall and 9-2 in Heartland Conference play. OPSU fell to 6-15, 3-7. The Rattlers will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m., when they host St. Edward’s University in a Heartland Conference matchup at Bill Greehey Arena..

St. Mary’s (Texas) 56, Oklahoma Panhandle State 38

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