San Antonio – Based on these two teams’ recent history, it looked as if the St. Mary’s women’s basketball team had Texas-Permian Basin right where it wanted it Friday afternoon.
Trailing Texas-Permian Basin late in the second half, the Lady Rattlers had rallied to within a possession in the waning seconds when they got the ball in Liz Boyd’s hands.
It’s also what they did against the Falcons back on Jan. 8, when they erased a 13-point deficit with 2:56 left on a Liz Boyd 3-pointer at the end of regulation that forced overtime, where they eventually won 86-85.
Unfortunately, the script produced a surprise ending this time around.
Trailing by two points, St. Mary’s turned the ball over with 12 seconds left. Then, down three, they turned it over again with two ticks left on the clock in a 64-59 loss to second-seeded Texas-Permian Basin in the Heartland Conference semifinals at Bill Greehey Arena.
Double-double machine Kristen Williams (Sr., Kansas City, Mo.) led the way for St. Mary’s (15-12) with 21 points and 17 rebounds, while Nicole James (Sr., Indianapolis) and Felicia Jacobs (So., San Antonio) chipped in 11 apiece.
St. Mary’s, winners of 20 straight in each of the past three seasons, entered the night as the No. 3 seed.
In a game plagued by turnovers, the Rattlers led 21-19 at halftime. They were able to make up for their turnovers through the early goings thanks a terrific defensive effort, but the miscues eventually caught up with St. Mary’s.
They finished with 31 giveaways, while UTPB had 21.
Of course, no two turnovers were costlier than the Rattlers’ final two.
Leading 36-26 with 14 minutes left, momentum appeared squarely on St. Mary’s side. But the Falcons started to chip away at the deficit, leading by as many as six points with four minutes remaining.
Williams hit a pair of free throws to knot things up at 59-59 with 1:32 left, but the Rattlers wouldn’t score again as the Falcons closed the game out on a 5-0 run.