San Antonio – The St. Mary’s women’s basketball team played a similar tune to its season-opening defeat against Fort Hays State, with turnovers and fouls getting them in trouble again Sunday in a 61-56 loss against Pittsburg State.

The two teams exchanged the lead back and forth until one minute remained with the Rattlers down by one, 57-56. But two fouls and two turnovers stunted the Rattlers, as Pittsburg State took advantage and came out ahead with a 4-0 run in the last 60 seconds to prevail in the St. Mary’s Classic at Bill Greehey Arena.

Three newcomers had top scores for the game, with leading-scorer Jackie Edwards (So., San Antonio) pouring in 18, followed by Chesney Neely (Fr., Goldthwaite, Texas) with 10 and Morgan Pullins (Fr., Franklin, Mich.) with nine.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Edwards, who has found her game in the Rattlers’ Division II Heartland Conference after transferring from New Mexico Junior College. “We haven’t had any easy games.”

The Rattlers started quick with a 3-pointer from Neely (Goldthwaite, Texas), a post player with terrific range who sank one in the first 30 seconds. The Rattlers (0-2) fell to a five-point deficit halfway through the half, but St. Mary’s showed its potential when it closed the gap and came ahead with a tip-in by Pullins over the next three minutes.

After regaining the lead, the Rattlers kept the Gorillas playing catch-up as St. Mary’s held on to the lead for the rest of the first half and into the second – all the way until the final seven minutes.

Tied at 42-42, Pittsburg State and St. Mary’s shared the lead back and forth until one minute remained with the Rattlers down by one, 57-56, before seeing the Gorillas storm ahead late.

A young, but potential-filled team, the Rattlers might have shown their inexperience down the stretch.

“It’s different coming from the junior college and playing with a more disciplined and more settled team,” said Edwards of learning the Rattlers’ system, “instead of running up and down the court. We have to rely on our fundamentals.”

Felicia Jacobs (Jr., San Antonio) had her fundamentals down in tonight’s game with 10 points, three assists and zero turnovers. But Edwards as well as the rest of the Rattlers know that their game must be stepped up before entering the rest of the season and conference.

The Rattlers lost 16 points on turnovers as Pittsburg State capitalized on the opportunities. Similarly, the Rattlers also lost 16 points off turnovers against Fort Hays. The Rattlers had a 32.3 field-goal percentage, compared to the Gorillas’ 47.8. St. Mary’s shot 57.1 percent from the free-throw line, while Pittsburg State hit on 76.2 percent of its shots. Leading the way for Pittsburg State was 6-foot-3 forward Larrissa Richards, who posted up St. Mary’s to 19 points to go along with four blocks.

The Rattlers get another chance at their first victory next Wednesday when they travel to play Tarleton State at 6 p.m.

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