FORT SMITH, Ark. – Nicole James scored 15 and Kristen Williams added 12, but it wasn’t enough as the St. Mary’s Lady Rattlers fell 60-47 to the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith at the Stubblefield Center on Thursday.

James shot 6 for 9 from the floor, including 3 for 5 from 3-point range, helping St. Mary’s outscore UA Fort Smith 40-34 over the final 26 minutes.

Only one problem: The Lions put together a terrific 14 minutes to open the game.

Going on separate runs of 8-0 and 18-3, the Lions built an early 26-7 advantage – their largest of the night – by the six-minute mark of the first half.

St. Mary’s is now 11-8 on the season. Though UA Fort Smith is a Heartland Conference opponent, their provisional-member status precludes the game from counting in the conference standings. St. Mary’s remains 3-1 in league play. The Lions improved to 14-4 overall.

Williams shot 5 for 8 and hauled in eight boards, helping the Lady Rattlers maintain a 33-25 rebounding advantage.

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