San Antonio – Kevin Kotzur led the way with 24 points, and St. Mary’s University hit on a sizzling 65.9 percent of their shots from the field, as the Rattlers defeated Lincoln University in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.
Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) hit on 8-of-9 shots from the field and 8-of-8 from the free throw line to score a game-high, and career high, 24 points. He also pulled down 5 rebounds. Brad Hubenak (Fr., Kennedale, Texas) scored a season high 15 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Gordon Ward (Jr., Galveston, Texas) reached double figures for the first time as a Rattler with 12 points, while Curtis Mitchell (Sr., Milwaukee) and Darren Lee (Stockton, Calif.) each chipped in with 11 points. Mitchell also added a career-high 13 assists to pick up his first double-double as a Rattler. As a team the Rattlers hit on 29-of-44 shots from the field and also made 23-of-28 shots from the free throw line.
Lincoln made a run at the Rattlers early in the second half, after trailing by seven points at the break. When Ryan Spearman made a three-pointer with 14:25 left to play, the Blue Tigers trailed by just four points at 52-48. But St. Mary’s responded with an 11-0 run, taking a commanding 63-48 lead. From there, the lead stretched to as much as 20 points.
The Rattlers ran out to a big early lead in the first half, then watched as Lincoln rallied. Led by Lee and Kotzur, the Rattlers took a commanding 18-4 lead. Lee hit two early 3-pointers, while Kotzur reached double figures in scoring in the first half with 13 points. But the Blue Tigers made a game of it, rallying to cut the lead to just six points on four different occasions, before settling for a seven-point halftime deficit.
With the win St. Mary’s evened its record at 6-6 overall and 2-1 in Heartland Conference play. The Rattlers have now won three games in a row. Lincoln fell to 2-9, 0-3. St. Mary’s will return to action on Monday night at Bill Greehey Arena, when they host Newman University in the second game of a Heartland Conference basketball doubleheader at 8 p.m.