San Antonio – A 13-point deficit with three minutes left in regulation. A last-second three pointer to force overtime. Two heart-thumping free throws with the game on the line late in OT.
No wonder St. Mary’s DeAnna Patterson said “it was all a blur” after the Lady Rattlers pulled off the unthinkable Saturday, erasing a 13-point deficit with 2:53 remaining in regulation to stun the University of Texas-Permian Basin 86-85 in overtime at Bill Greehey Arena.
Capping off a wild three minutes in regulation, Liz Boyd drained a 3-pointer with three seconds left to send the game to OT tied at 74-74, where DeAnna Patterson calmly nailed the tying and go-ahead free throws with 2.6 seconds left.
“Down 13, whatever. Three minutes left, whatever,” said Patterson, a junior guard from Converse, Texas, who scored 19. “We never had any doubt.”
Patterson missed a running jumper from several feet in front of the basket with about five seconds remaining in OT, and UTPB tracked down the loose ball amid a mad scramble. But a Falcons player called a timeout while on the ground with the ball, resulting in a technical foul with UTPB out of timeouts.
Patterson went to the line for two shots, both of which cleanly split the net, and St. Mary’s (10-6, 2-0 Heartland Conference) retained possession on the ensuing inbounds pass. The Lady Rattlers got the ball to Boyd (So., San Antonio), who weaved between two defenders to run out the final 2.6 seconds.
For Patterson, she was just happy to get a second-chance after missing a difficult runner that she thought she should have made.
“I’m thinking, ‘I shoot free throws better than I shoot layups. Thank you, because I just blew this layup,'” Patterson recalled.
The Lady Rattlers were competitive throughout, trailing 37-33 entering the break. But the game began to get away from them in the closing minutes, as a 55-53 deficit with 8:36 left swelled to 74-61 with 2:53 remaining.
It was then when coach Jason Martens confidently told his players they were going to win the game.
“I looked all the girls in the eye and said, ‘We’re winning this thing. You’ve got to believe,'” he said. “And they did.”
The Falcons drained three of their 12 3-pointers in OT, but it wouldn’t matter.
Nicole James (Jr., Indianapolis) made a 3-pointer of her own, while Felicia Jacobs (So., San Antonio) made a breakaway layup to put the Rattlers within a point at 85-84 with 49 seconds left.
Kristen Williams (Sr., Kansas City, Mo.) led the Rattlers with 22 points and 16 rebounds, while Boyd added 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
“We know the past few games we’d been struggling to finish out games,” Patterson said. “We said this was conference time. We knew we needed to get some stops and get some points on offense.”
St. Mary’s returns to action against Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Bill Greehey Arena.