San Antonio – Eric Stewart’s made a running jump shot as time expired, lifting the University of the Incarnate Word to a 65-63 victory over St. Mary’s University in the Heartland Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game, played Saturday night at Bill Greehey Arena.

With 1:51 left to play, the Rattlers led the Cardinals by four points, 61-57, after a jump shot by Darren Lee (Sr., Stockton, Calif.). Chris Johnson pulled the Cardinals to within two points with a driving layup with 1:38 left. Gordon Ward (Jr., Galveston, Texas) was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:01 left to give the Rattlers a three-point lead. Stewart was fouled by Ward and made both of his free throws to pull the Cardinals to within one point again at 62-61. Lee was fouled on the Rattlers next possession, but hit only 1-of-2 free throws to make the score 63-61. Pierce Caldwell tied the game with a short jump shot with 13 seconds left. Curtis Mitchell (Sr., Milwaukee) drove the length of the floor, but lost the ball out of bounds with four seconds left, giving the Cardinals a last chance. Stewart took the inbound and drove the length of the floor, pulling up about 10 feet from the basket and sinking the shot to give the Cardinals the win.

Kevin Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) was dominant for the Rattlers, scoring 17 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. He was named to the All-Tournament team for his play. Lee matched him for the team scoring lead with 17 points, including 9-of-13 from the free throw line. Ward and Mitchell each added 10 points for the Rattlers. St. Mary’s made just 33.3 percent (16-48) of its shots from the field in the loss, but hit on 71.4 percent (30-42) of its free throws. The Rattlers also outrebounded the Cardinals 47-31.

Pierce Caldwell led UIW with 17 points and was named Tournament MVP. Stewart was the only other Cardinal to score in double figures with 15 points.

With the loss St. Mary’s saw its’ season end at 17-13. Incarnate Word improved to 23-6 and will advance to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament.

2010 Heartland Conference Men’s Basketball All-Tournament Team
MVP – Pierce Caldwell, Incarnate Word
Eric Stewart, Incarnate Word
Shawn Umeh, Incarnate Word
Kevin Kotzur, St. Mary’s
Gordon Ward, St. Mary’s
Bryan Bauman, Dallas Baptist

03/06/10 6:05 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena, San Antonio, TX
At Bill Greehey Arena, San Antonio, TX
ST. MARY’S (TEXAS) (17-13)
Darren Lee 4-10 9-13 17; Kevin Kotzur 4-8 9-11 17; Gordon Ward 3-5 4-6 10; Curtis Mitchell 2-9 5-6 10; Brad Hubenak 2-7 0-0 4; Jeremy Fonteneaux 0-6 3-6 3; D.J. Castro 1-2 0-0 2; Aaron Thomas 0-0 0-0 0; Jeff Campbell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 30-42 63.
Pierce Caldwell 5-15 6-7 17; Eric Stewart 6-9 3-8 15; Tracy Robinson 4-14 1-4 9; Chris Johnson 3-8 3-5 9; Shaun Umeh 2-4 1-2 6; Tamas Cseh 2-2 1-2 5; Kelcey Solomon 2-2 0-0 4; Deleon Hines 0-3 0-2 0; Daryl Ward 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-57 15-30 65.
St. Mary’s (Texas)…………   31   32  –   63
Incarnate Word…………….   30   35  –   65
3-point goals–St. Mary’s (Texas) 1-7 (Curtis Mitchell 1-4; Darren Lee 0-3), Incarnate Word 2-8 (Pierce Caldwell 1-4; Shaun Umeh 1-2; Chris Johnson 0-1; Eric Stewart 0-1). Fouled out–St. Mary’s (Texas)-None, Incarnate Word-Chris Johnson. Rebounds–St. Mary’s (Texas) 47 (Kevin Kotzur 16), Incarnate Word 31 (Chris Johnson 6; Pierce Caldwell 6). Assists–St. Mary’s (Texas) 7 (Curtis Mitchell 5), Incarnate Word 10 (Eric Stewart 6). Total fouls–St. Mary’s (Texas) 23, Incarnate Word 27. Technical fouls–St. Mary’s (Texas)-Jeff Campbell, Incarnate Word-None. A-1000
Heartland Conference Tournament Championship
Incarnate Word #1 seed; St. Mary’s #3 seed.
Game delayed one hour due to shot clock malfunction.

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