CANYON, Texas–Seventh-ranked West Texas A&M University shot 52.1 percent from the field and forced 22 St. Mary’s University turnovers, leading the Buffaloes to a 78-50 victory over the Rattlers in the first round of the NCAA South Central Region Tournament at the First Bank Center.

Kristin Williams (Jr., Kansas City) led the Rattlers with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Chastity Noble (Sr., El Paso, Texas) and Liz Boyd (Fr., San Antonio) each added 10 points for the Rattlers. As a team the Rattlers shot 37.7 percent (20-53) from the field, but just 17.6 percent (3-17) from 3-point range. The Rattlers committed 22 turnovers, 14 in the first half.

WTAMU was led by Megan McClain with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Three other Buffaloes scored in double figures in the contest. As a team the Buffaloes shot 52.1 percent (25-48) from the field and made 61.5 percent (24-39) of their shots from the free throw line.

With 13 minutes left in the first half, the Rattlers trailed by just a 16-13 margin. However, WTAMU finished the first half by outscoring the Rattlers 25-8 to take a commanding 20-point advantage at the break. From there, the Rattlers never got closer than 15 points.

With the loss the Rattlers saw their season end with a 22-8 record. WTAMU improved to 30-3 and will advance to the semifinals of the NCAA South Central Region Tournament. The Rattlers advanced to the regional tournament for the third straight season. St. Mary’s will return four of five starters from the 2009-2010 team in 2010-2011 as they try to advance to the regional tournament for the fourth straight season.

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