San Antonio — Kristen Williams says the St. Mary’s Lady Rattlers are still learning to play “40 minutes,” which in her view defined their victory over Incarnate Word on Tuesday.
Instead of pounding the Cardinals in a game they led by as many as 21 points, the Rattlers seemed to settle for a less-dominant showing, beating their cross-town rivals 54-45 at Bill Greheey Arena.
“Coach always talks about us giving a 40-minute game,” Williams said. “We always manage to play 30. That’s it. Whether the 10 minutes of bad play comes at the beginning, the middle or the end, we always have 10 minutes where we don’t score and don’t defend.
“Tonight the final 10 minutes of the game were our 10 minutes. It didn’t look good.”
Perhaps, but the Rattlers (5-3) did plenty of things that looked more than good enough — starting with Williams’ own performance.
The senior forward from Kansas City, Mo., set the Rattlers’ single-game record with 19 rebounds, crashing the glass for 11 offensive boards and eight defensive rebounds. Williams, who added 19 points on 9-of-19 shooting, bested the previous mark of 18 that had been shared by four players, including Williams.
Nicole James (Jr., Indianapolis) added 10 points and six assists, and Mallory Moeller (Sr., Geronimo, Texas) had nine points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting performance in a game the Rattlers led 30-16 at the break.
Despite Incarnate Word’s late resurgence, the Rattlers were never really threatened. Trailing for only a minute in the game’s opening moments, St. Mary’s posted a 20-5 run in the first half that all but put the game out of reach from the start.