Wichita, Kan. – The Rattlers are going to have to rediscover their mojo at home.
Newman stumped the Heartland Conference-favorite St. Mary’s men’s basketball team 94-82 on Monday, sending the once-cruising Rattlers into third place in the league standings.
Kevin Kotzur (So., La Vernia, Texas) scored a game-high 29 points, but it wasn’t enough against a gritty Newman squad playing on its home court.
St. Mary’s (13-10, 6-4) will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, when it hosts Dallas Baptist in the Rattlers’ third-to-last game. And good thing the Rattlers will be back home, where they are 9-3 this year before departing for a near-month-long road trip that ended tonight.
After a back-and-forth game early Monday, Newman started to get the best of the Rattlers midway through the first half.
With the game deadlocked at 12-12 five minutes in, the Jets burst to a 27-7 run to open up a 20-point lead over the ensuing 10 minutes.
St. Mary’s trailed by 18 at the half and faced a double-digit deficit for the entire second half until Kotzur put in a layup to make it 89-80 with 28 seconds left.
Kotzur missed just one shot all night, going 10 for 11 from the floor, and adding 10 rebounds. Fellow big man Ray Marshall (Jr., El Paso, Texas) had 16 points and 10 boards.
But it was defense that was lacking for the Rattlers on this night, allowing the Jets to make 51 percent of their shots, including a whopping 14 for 25 from 3-point range.
Newman’s 94 points were the most allowed by the Rattlers since yielding 100 in a triple-overtime victory over Angelo State on Dec. 8, 2010.