San Antonio – St. Mary’s University held the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to just 31.1 percent shooting from the field and dominated the boards in a 56-37 Heartland Conference men’s basketball win at Bill Greehey Arena, Thursday night.
The 37 points allowed ties for the fewest points scored by a Rattler opponent over the last eight years. St. Mary’s held National Christian College to just 34 points on Feb. 20, 2002. In the two games between the teams this season, UTPB has scored a total of just 65 points – both Rattler victories.
After a close first half, the Rattlers quickly put the game away in the second half. Kevin Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) and Jeremy Fonteneaux (So., DeSoto, Texas) each scored 4 points in the Rattlers 13-2 run that turned a 9-point lead into a 20-point advantage with 11:20 left to play. From there, UTPB never got closer than 13 points.
Kotzur led the Rattlers with 12 points and 9 rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Darren Lee (Sr., Stockton, Calif.) had 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Fonteneaux finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds. As a team, the Rattlers hit on 49.0 percent (25-51) of their shots from the field. They also outrebounded the Falcons, 39-20.
The Rattlers fell behind early on, thanks to the play of Mihai Urichainu. Urichainu hit a pair of early baskets to give the Falcons an 8-6 lead with 13:01 left in the half. The teams battled back-and-forth for the next four minutes until the Rattlers took control. St. Mary’s finished the half with a 15-4 run to take a commanding 27-16 lead at the break.
With the win St. Mary’s improved to 12-9 overall and 7-4 in Heartland Conference play. UTPB fell to 6-14, 3-7. The Rattlers will return to action on Saturday in the second game of the women’s/men’s doubleheader against Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 4:30 p.m. in Bill Greehey Arena.
St. Mary’s (Texas) 56, Texas-Permian Basin 37