Laredo, Texas – Kristin Williams picked up a double-double, while Nicole James had a strong all-around game off the bench, leading St. Mary’s University to an easy 65-49 win over Texas A&M International University in Heartland Conference women’s basketball action Thursday night at the Kinesiology Building. TAMIU edged the Rattler men, 70-69 in the second game of the night.

The Rattlers trailed just three times in the game, all in the first seven minutes, then used a 12-0 run to turn a tight game into a runaway. James (So., Indianapolis) scored 5 of her 9 points during the run, which turned a 10-9 TAMIU lead into a 21-10 St. Mary’s advantage. The Rattlers never trailed again and led by as much as 28 points in the second half.

Williams (Jr., Kansas City) was one of two Rattlers to reach double figures in scoring with 10 points and added 13 rebounds for a double-double. Chastity Noble (Sr., El Paso, Texas) led the Rattlers with 13 points. James came off the bench to score 9 points, pull down 7 rebounds and dish out 6 assists.

With the win, the Rattlers improved to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in Heartland Conference play and have won their last four games in a row. TAMIU fell to 2-13, 1-2. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday with a pivotal Heartland Conference matchup against St. Edward’s University in Austin, starting at 2 p.m.

In the men’s game, a late rally fell just short as St. Mary’s suffered its second straight loss, 70-69, against Dustdevils. After the Rattlers took a big early lead in the first half, the game settled into shootout. The second half was especially close with seven ties and two lead changes. Luiz Gomez gave the Dustdevils the lead for good on three free throws with 3:16 left to play. With just 28 seconds left to play, the Rattlers trailed by five points. But Kevin Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) hit two free throws and Jeff Campbell (So., Allen, Texas) hit a three-pointer to pull the Rattlers within just one point. But that was as close as they would get in the loss.

Darren Lee (Sr., Stockton, Calif.) led the Rattlers with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Kotzur was the only other Rattler to reach double figures with 10 points. As a team, the Rattler shot 50.0 percent (26-52) from the field and 44.4 percent (8-18) from 3-point range. But they allowed TAMIU to shoot 52.4 percent (23-45), including 50.0 percent (10-20) from three-point range.

With the loss, the Rattlers fell to 6-8 overall and 2-3 in Heartland Conference play this season. TAMIU improved to 5-8, 2-2. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Austin to face St. Edward’s University in a Heartland Conference matchup at 4:30 p.m.

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