FORT SMITH, Ark. – It was another easy one for the Lady Rattlers.
St. Mary’s was able to stay clean in the Heartland Conference on Thursday, remaining undefeated in league play with a blowout win over the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 80-60.
The usual contenders were the headliners again against the Lions (4-10, 0-2 in conference). Felicia Jacobs (Sr., San Antonio) knocked down a team-high 14 points, followed by a defensively sound Jackie Woods (Jr., San Antonio) who added 13 points and came away with the school’s single-record record with eight steals. Woods also led in assists with five and pulled in a team-high six rebounds. Lia Kioa (Jr., Phoenix) added 12 points, draining three 3-pointers while Dezirae Elias (Fr., Chandler, Ariz.) added 10 points.
Improving to 11-3 on the season and 4-0 in conference play, the Rattlers’ first conference road victory has them starting again to notch a winning streak which peaked at five victories in a row before a loss to East Central University. Already, they’re back to holding a three-game winning streak.
St. Mary’s picked up an early lead over the Lions that only surmounted as the first half ticked away. Leading by 17 at the half, the Rattlers were able to retire their starters early and use their well-stacked bench to win it by 20 to stay atop the Heartland standings.
Shining with their unselfish play and knowing how to capitalize on their talent, the Rattlers posted a 23-18 assist/turnover ratio, a stat desirable to any coach, which is their third game this season where their assists overpowered their turnovers. In addition, the Rattlers’ defensive effort surpassed that of the Lions, snatching 21 steals to the Lions’ eight. The Rattlers’ 21 steals is the third-most in a single game in the program’s history.
The Lady Rattlers continue on the road to play Newman University on Saturday in Wichita, Kan. at 2 p.m.