San Antonio – Hundreds of St. Mary’s alumni descended upon Bill Greehey Arena on Saturday for a men’s basketball reunion.

With them came a return to the Rattlers’ winning ways.

Helping the Rattlers shake a skid in which they had dropped three of four games, Kevi Kotzur scored 22 points in a 75-66 victory over St. Edward’s in a game St. Mary’s never trailed and led by as many as 17 early on before a crowd of nearly 600 fans.

“It was a big win for us,” said Kotzur (Jr., La Vernia, Texas), whose Rattlers (13-7, 6-3 in Heartland Conference) are suddenly once again just a game out of first place in the Heartland Conference behind Newman and Texas A&M International, both of whom dropped recent contests to fall to two losses apiece.

The Hilltoppers (9-12, 1-8) put a scare in the Rattlers late, cutting the once-massive deficit to four in the final minute until St. Mary’s soared to push it back to nine at the buzzer.

“They came back a little bit,” Kotzur said. “But we got back to our fundamentals, started rebounding, playing defense and came out with the win.”

Sharp-shooting junior guard Daryell Taylor (Jr., Houston) connected on 3-of-4 3-point attempts in an 18-point outing, while Lamb Autrey (Sr., Cibolo, Texas) scored 13 and Ray Marshall (Sr., El Paso, Texas) added 10.

St. Mary’s outrebounded St. Edward’s 38-29 in the “Battle of the Saints,” as the men’s and women’s teams swept the competitive rivalry on this day.

The Rattlers will return to the court with a shot at first place next week, when they host Newman at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Bill Greehey Arena.

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