San Antonio – St. Mary’s University used 20 point from Curtis Mitchell and a dominant post game to upset Heartland Conference leader the University of the Incarnate Word, 83-69, Saturday afternoon at the McDermott Center.
With the win, St. Mary’s is now 8-8 overall and 4-3 in the Heartland Conference standings, tied for fifth. The top six teams in the regular season advance to the Heartland Conference Tournament, March 4-6, at Bill Greehey Arena. With the loss, Incarnate Word fell to 11-5 overall and 5-2 in Heartland Conference play. UIW fell out of first place in the league standings, falling one-half game behind Newman University (5-1).
Incarnate Word started the game with a 6-0 run and led for the majority of the first half. However, the Rattlers took control with a 14-3 run, keyed by three-pointers from both Mitchell (Sr., Milwaukee) and Darren Lee (Sr., Stockton, Calif.). The run gave the Rattlers a 36-25 lead with 1:36 left in the first half.
The Rattlers then wasted no time in putting the game out of reach, starting the second half with a 14-2 run that increased the St. Mary’s lead to 21 points with 15:23 left to play. That lead would increase to as much as 25 points and the Rattlers were never challenged again after that.
St. Mary’s shot a sizzling 56.5 percent (35-62) from the field in the game. They held UIW to just 34.2 percent (25-73) shooting from the field, including just 11.8 percent (2-17) from three-point range. The Rattlers dominated the pain, outrebounding the Cardinals 49-35, and blocked nine shots.
Mitchell scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field. Kevin Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) made all 8 of his shots from the field to score 17 points. He also pulled down 9 rebounds in just 25 minutes of action. Brad Hubenak (Fr., Kennedale, Texas) scored 17 points and had 8 rebounds, while Aaron Thomas (So., San Antonio) scored 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds.