San Antonio – Darren Lee scored six of his game-high 23 points in the final 1:20, helping St. Mary’s University to a hard-fought 72-70 win over St. Edward’s University in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Saturday night at the Recreation and Convocation Center.

After trailing by as much as 11 points in the first half, the Rattlers rallied and took the lead early in the second period. Curtis Mitchell (Sr., Milwaukee) gave the Rattlers a two-point edge with a 3-pointer with 16:27 left to play. Gordon Ward (Jr., Galveston, Texas) hit a jump shot on the next possession and Mitchell followed with another trey to make it a six-point game with 15:25 left. The Rattlers held the lead until Jeff Minter hit a 3-pointer with 2:48 left to play, giving the Hilltoppers a two-point lead at 63-61. But Lee and Kevin Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) brought the Rattlers right back. Lee made 4-of-4 free throws and Kotzur hit a pair of freebies to key a 7-0 run that gave the Rattlers the lead for good. Lee hit all six of his free throws in the final 1:20 of the game to preserve the victory.

Lee made 5-of-7 shots from the field and 11-of-12 from the free throw line to lead all players with 23 points. Mitchell added 18 points, while Kotzur picked up 10 points. As a team, the Rattlers hit on 58.3 percent (21-36) of their shots from the field and 71.9 percent (23-32) of their shots from the free throw line. Four Hilltoppers scored in double figures, led by Miner, who had 18 points.

With the win, the Rattlers improved to 7-8 overall and 3-3 in Heartland Conference play. St. Edward’s fell to 5-10, 1-4. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday, January 16, when they travel across town to face Heartland Conference leader, the University of the Incarnate Word at 4:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s 72, St. Edward’s 70

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