San Antonio – There is no mistaking the difference between the Rattlers when they are on and off their offensive game.
When they’re on, the ball moves around indiscriminately, seemingly always finding the hands of the open man. When they’re off, things grow stagnant, with forced shots replacing open ones.
They were undoubtedly on top of things Saturday, as Jeff Campbell (Jr., Allen, Texas) led five players in double figures with 13 points to fuel a 74-65 victory over the University of Texas-Permian Basin at Bill Greehey Arena.
Throw in a solid defensive effort, and coach Jim Zeleznak is pleased with where the Rattlers (8-5, 2-0 Heartland Conference) are headed.
“I thought we did some good things,” he said. “I thought we played hard and had another fairly good effort defensively. We really gave a lot of effort on defense, which showed some signs we’re really making some progress there.”
Kevin Kotzur (So., La Vernia, Texas), Ray Marshall (Jr., El Paso, Texas) and Lamb Autrey (Jr., Cibolo, Texas) all scored 12 apiece, while Gordon Ward (Sr., Galveston, Texas) had 10 points. Josh Orta (So., San Antonio) added nine points.
St. Mary’s built a comfortable lead early, leading by eight points eight minutes into the game, and leading by double digits later in the first half en route to taking a 33-24 lead into the break.
But the Falcons wouldn’t go away, clawing within four or six points on three separate occasions following runs from the Rattlers that pushed the lead back up to double digits.
WATCH THE RATTLERS’ VICTORY
Putting a stop to UTPB’s comeback bid, St. Mary’s made six of eight free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the game.
The Rattlers return to action in a hurry, traveling to play at Dallas Baptist at 7 p.m. Monday.