San Antonio – Long after the final buzzer had sounded in the Lady Rattlers’ thrilling overtime win Thursday, DeAnna Patterson sat in a far corner of the front concourse inside Bill Greehey Arena.
With only her father, Troy, nearby, the senior stared toward the ground, quietly internalizing what had just transpired.
Sure, she had believed her team could have pulled this off, a stunning, 74-66 victory over the first-place Newman Jets.
But to have actually done it, leaving the one-time 1-9 Lady Rattlers with a shot to be atop the Heartland Conference by the end of the weekend? That took some time to sink in.
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“I’m pretty sure I’ll still be thinking about this game until tomorrow,” said Patterson, who scored a game-high 22 points with four 3-pointers, including one that helped the Lady Rattlers open up a six-point lead 45 seconds into OT. “It was just a great game overall. A lot of people stepped up, making shots, getting rebounds when we needed them, making stops when we needed them.”
Taking charge of a back-and-forth game that saw 11 ties, the Rattlers (11-14, 6-3 Heartland Conference) got back-to-back 3’s from Jackie Edwards (So., San Antonio) and Patterson (Sr., Converse, Texas) to open up a sizeable six-point lead that St. Mary’s would not relinquish.
Regaining her sweet shooting touch, Edwards scored 17 with a pair of 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds and six assists, while freshman Morgan Pullins (Franklin, Mich.) added 11 points and nine boards.
Satoria Bell and Tasha Cannon, Newman’s tag-team tandem, scored 20 and 19, respectively, but it wasn’t enough against the Lady Rattlers’ spirited charge.
With St. Mary’s now leading Texas A&M International, which was upset by Oklahoma Panhandle State on Thursday, by three games with three remaining, the Lady Rattlers have all but locked in a spot in the Heartland Conference Tournament.
In fact, now tied with Newman for second place, St. Mary’s trails Texas-Permian Basin by just a single game for a share of first place and a shot to host the Heartland Tournament.
Patterson says the Rattlers have their eye on that – and more.
“We now know that we can play with anybody,” she said. “In our conference, in our region, in the nation. After we get over this conference win, we’re trying to get to the conference tournament, win the conference tournament, (win the) region. We’re looking far ahead. We’re trying to do big things.”
The next big thing starts with Oklahoma Panhandle State, whom the Lady Rattlers will host at 12 p.m. Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena.