San Antonio – Hustle and fundamentals.
They’re two of the more basic aspects of the game of basketball, yet on Saturday were the undeniable difference in the Lady Rattlers’ 68-63 overtime victory against rival St. Edward’s.
Constantly going to the floor to control loose balls, badly outrebounding the Hilltoppers and shining at the free-throw line late, St. Mary’s moved a step closer toward punching their ticket to the Heartland Conference tournament.
And for that matter, they now remain in the hunt to host the tournament outright with a 5-3 Heartland Conference record (10-14 overall).
RE-WATCH THE WIN!
Morgan Pullins (Fr., Franklin, Mich.) led the Rattlers with 16 points before fouling out toward the end of regulation, and DeAnna Patterson (Sr., Converse, Texas) scored 15, including the go-ahead basket with 36 seconds left in regulation and two free throws late in OT that helped seal the game after the teams went to the extra session tied at 60-60.
Kathryn Galindo (So., San Antonio) also had another big game off the bench, scoring 10 and grabbing eight rebounds.
“The hustle, that just takes heart,” Patterson said. “We have a lot of that on our team. And free throws, we shoot them every day in practice. Just knock them down.”
St. Mary’s leads Texas A&M International by two games with four remaining for the fourth and final spot in the tournament race, while also only trailing league-leading Newman by two games.
“We just kept fighting,” Patterson said of the win. “Whenever we get down in any game, we just keep fighting. Lock down on defense and try to convert it to offense.”
The Lady Rattlers forced 16 turnovers and outrebounded the Hilltoppers 44-21.
St. Mary’s returns to action when it hosts Newman at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Bill Greehey Arena.