Dallas – Dallas Baptist University made 30-of-37 free throws to hold off a late St. Mary’s University rally for an 80-72 victory over the Rattlers in Heartland Conference men’s basketball action Thursday night at the Burg Center.

The Rattlers came out of the locker room cold, falling behind 17-4 over the first seven minutes of the game. That was where the margin would stay at the break, as St. Mary’s made just 9-of-26 shots from the field and committed 8 first-half turnovers, to trail 37-24.

In the second half the Rattlers found their offensive touch and doubled their point total. St. Mary’s hit on 22-of-44 second half shots from the field and made 3-of-10 from 3-point range. However, the Patriots hit on 22-of-25 shots from the free throw line in the second half to offset a 10-of-23 shooting performance from the field. After trailing by as much as 19 points, the Rattlers went on a 14-3 run over a five-minute stretch late in the game to cut the deficit to just six at 70-64. Kevin Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas), who scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, made the layup to cut the lead to just six with 1:32 left to play. But the Patriots hit eight straight free throws over the final 33 seconds to hold off the Rattlers for the win.

Curtis Mitchell (Sr., Milwaukee) led the Rattlers with 15 points, while Kotzur chipped in with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Aaron Thomas (So., San Antonio) came off the bench to hit on 6-of-8 shots from the field for 12 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Brad Hubenak (Fr., Kennedale, Texas) scored 10 points.

With the loss the Rattlers are now 15-11 overall and 10-6 in Heartland Conference play. DBU is 17-9, 10-5. St. Mary’s will wrap up the regular season on Saturday when they travel to Forth Smith, Ark., to face the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith in a Heartland Conference game at 4:30 p.m. The Rattlers will return home for the Heartland Conference Tournament, which will be played at Bill Greehey Arena on March 4-6.

Dallas Baptist 80, St. Mary’s (Texas) 72
2/25/10 7:00 pm at Dallas, Texas

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