San Antonio – St. Mary’s freshman post Chesney Neely showed off her outside touch. Sophomore newcomer Jackie Edwards flashed her ability to slash to the basket. And freshman forward Morgan Pullins dazzled with an all-around terrific debut.
But for all the newest batch of St. Mary’s Lady Rattlers did to impress in Saturday’s women’s basketball season opener, it wasn’t quite enough.
Undone by turnovers and early foul problems, the Lady Rattlers fell to Fort Hays State, 70-60, on the opening day of the St. Mary’s Classic before nearly 200 fans at Bill Greehey Arena.
The freshman Pullins (Franklin, Mich.) scored a team-high 14 points, while grizzled veteran guards Felicia Jacobs (Jr., San Antonio) and Liz Boyd (Jr., San Antonio) added 11 points apiece.
Re-watch the game
St. Mary’s will wrap up the Classic at 3 p.m. Sunday, when it hosts Pittsburg State.
Trailing 29-27 at the half, the Lady Rattlers (0-1) looked to be finding their rhythm after a sluggish start, reeling off a 6-0 run to close the gap to two at the break.
But Fort Hays State (1-0) fought back in the second half, opening up double-digit leads on four separate occasions and leading by as many as 11 points midway through.
The Lady Rattlers’ undoing was in large part their 19 turnovers and 26 personal fouls, as two Lady Rattlers fouled out and Fort Hays State attempted 41 foul shots.
Fort Hays shot 26 of 41 at the stripe, while St. Mary’s converted 12 of 25 free-throw attempts.