San Antonio – St. Mary’s University used a balanced attack on offense and a stingy defense to defeat the University of the Incarnate Word, 61-46, giving the Rattlers the 2010 Heartland Conference Tournament title, Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.

With the victory the Rattlers improved to 22-7. St. Mary’s won its second Heartland Conference Tournament Championship in the last three years and will advance to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament for the third straight year. The site of the 2010 NCAA South Central Region Tournament will be announced on Sunday night.

The Rattlers held the high-powered Incarnate Word offense to just 30.0 percent (6-20) in the first half to take a 26-17 lead at the break. Despite their early struggles, UIW led 15-14 with 6:36 left in the half. The Rattlers responded with a 10-0 run, keyed by 3-pointers from DeAnna Patterson (So., Converse) and Liz Boyd (Fr., San Antonio) to take a 24-15 lead with 1:26 left in the half.

Incarnate Word pulled to within five points on a pair of Cinnamon Kava free throws with 12:09 left in the game. However, St. Mary’s responded with a 9-1 run to take a commanding 48-35 lead with 5:23 left to play. The Cardinals never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

Kristen Williams (Jr., Kansas City) was named tournament MVP after scoring 12 points and pulling down 8 rebounds. Chastity Noble (Sr., El Paso, Texas) scored 12 points, dished out 3 assists and made 3 steals. Patterson came off the bench to score 12 points, including 2, 3-pointers. As a team the Rattlers made 41.9 percent (18-43) of their shots from the field and 74.1 percent (20-27) from the free throw line.

“The win is even sweeter, knowing that most people thought that Incarnate Word was the best team in the Heartland Conference,” Head Coach Jason Martens said of the win. “I’m so proud of how hard our girls have worked these last two weeks to improve since the last time we played them. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do at the regional tournament with continued improvement.”

2010 Heartland Conference All-Tournament Team
MVP – Kristin Williams, St. Mary’s
Mallory Moeller, St. Mary’s
Nia Torru, Incarnate Word
Jasmine Smith, Incarnate Word
Kelli Payton, St. Edward’s
Miesha Blackshear, Texas-Permian Basin

03/06/10 2:00 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena, San Antonio, TX
At Bill Greehey Arena, San Antonio, TX
St. Mary’s (Texas) 61, Incarnate Word 46

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