San Antonio – The Lady Rattlers entered Wednesday’s showdown with one of the nation’s top teams without two of their top contributors off the bench.
But it wouldn’t matter.
Leading from start to finish, the St. Mary’s women’s basketball team rolled past Tarleton State 77-56 at Bill Greehey Arena, routing a TexAnns squad that was ranked in the top 25 in the nation prior to dropping out of the poll this week.
Felicia Jacobs Jacobs (Sr., San Antonio) scored a game-high 17 points, Jackie Woods (Jr., San Antonio) added 14 and five assists, and Morgan Pullins (So., Franklin, Mich.) and Lia Kioa (Jr., Phoenix) added 13 apiece in well-balanced affair.
“It was awesome,” said senior point guard Liz Boyd of the Rattlers overcoming the loss of key contributors Dezi Elias and Brushea Daniels, both of whom missed the game with minor injuries. “Our coach did a great job recruiting this past season. We weren’t nervous, but we were on eggshells after those two injuries. We had to figure out who would step up. But we had multiple players step up.”
St. Mary’s (5-2) jumped on Tarleton State (2-2) from the start, opening up a seven-point lead over the first eight minutes. The lead grew to 14, 36-22, at the half, and the Lady Rattlers never looked back, leading by as many as 24 late in the game.
They shot well from across the court, hitting 50 percent or better from everywhere: 52.6 percent from the floor (30 of 57), 50 percent from 3-point range (3 of 6) and 73.7 percent from the line (14 of 19). Combined with a stifling defensive effort that created nine steals and held the TexAnns to 35-percent shooting, and the Lady Rattlers received the kind of effort they needed.
All this despite missing their primary backup point guard, Dezi Elias, and one of their go-to post players in Brushea Daniels.
Helping fill the void for Daniels was Bria Bell (Jr., Mesquite, Texas), who had 10 rebounds and eight points. Meanwhile, Boyd ran the offense to perfection with eight points and four assists.
Their effort couldn’t come at a better time, as St. Mary’s opens up Heartland Conference play on Saturday against Texas A&M International. The Lady Rattlers host the Dustdevils at 2 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena.