San Antonio – There was no magical comeback this time around.
Rusty and shorthanded, the Rattlers were tripped up by Angelo State on Thursday, falling 57-67 at Bill Greehey Arena nearly three weeks after overcoming a 15-point second-half deficit to shock the Rams 103-100 in triple overtime.
Kevin Kotzur (So., La Vernia, Texas) led the Rattlers with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.
“We looked rusty,” St. Mary’s coach Jim Zeleznak said. “Didn’t rebound the ball very well. Didn’t shoot very well. Didn’t execute very well. Didn’t take care of the basketball very well.
“A combination of those things isn’t a real good formula for winning basketball games.”
Off their mark following a 19-day layoff between games, the Rattlers (6-5) were held to their season-low scoring output after setting a program record (103 points) in their last meeting.
St. Mary’s competed hard early, trailing 19-16 with nearly five minutes left in the first half. But the game began to slip away from the Rattlers as halftime approached, with the deficit swelling to double figures before entering the break down 32-24.
The Rattlers cut it to six with nearly 11 minutes left but couldn’t claw any closer, as St. Mary’s shot 40 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers.
Not helping matters for the Rattlers, they were forced to play shorthanded inside. St. Mary’s began the night minus forward Ray Marshall (Jr., El Paso, Texas), who was excused from the game for personal reasons.
Then, midway through the first half, Brad Hubenak (So., Kennedale, Texas) went down with a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the night. Hubenak, who had replaced Marshall in the starting lineup, said he thought he might have reinjured an old leg injury from high school.
Not that Zeleznak would use that as an excuse.
“I’m not bringing that up,” he said. “We had enough guys out there. It’s absolutely no excuse. We didn’t even bring it up in the locker room.”
Lamb Autrey (Jr., Cibolo, Texas) scored 13 points, while Josh Orta (So., San Antonio) fouled out with 3:36 remaining.
St. Mary’s will return to action next Thursday, when it opens up Heartland Conference play by hosting St. Edward’s at 8 p.m.