DALLAS – With St. Mary’s needing a win, the road may be proving to be the foe of the Rattlers.
St. Mary’s lost a heartbreaker to Dallas Baptist University that came down to the final ticks Thursday night, falling for the third time on the road in Heartland Conference play in a 73-69 defeat.
Kevin Kotzur (RS-Sr., La Vernia, Texas) scored a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double on the season, while Moses Sundufu (Sr., Hopkins, Minn.) was hot throughout the second half, totaling 18 points including a layup that tied the game at 64-64 with 1:46 left. Daryell Taylor (Sr., Houston) added another 10 points for the Rattlers.
Up by one at the half, 33-32, the Rattlers maintained a lead for the first eight minutes of the frame before the Patriots fought back at 47-46. From there on, the Patriots (6-10, 3-3 in conference) were able to hold above the Rattlers (12-4, 4-3) for the remainder of the game, with St. Mary’s within reach and within one point several times throughout.
The second half was charged by Kotzur, who scored 15 of his 19 points in the frame, as well as Sundufu, who fired four 3-pointers for the game with two in the second half. Sundufu’s final mark on the night came from a three with 19 seconds remaining that brought the Rattlers within two, 71-69. But two free throws from the Patriots and a missed three at the buzzer took St. Mary’s out of it by four, 73-69.
Playing all but three minutes of the game, starting point guard Christian Bower (Jr., Chandler, Ariz.) totaled five assists for the game as well as five points and four rebounds. Percentages and stats were fairly even throughout for the Patriots and the Rattlers, who each had 12 assists for the game and totaled 34 and 35 rebounds, respectively. Free throws were the difference with the Patriots attempting 30 to the Rattlers’ nine, with DBU going to the foul stripe 24 times in the second half, capitalizing on St. Mary’s efforts to regain possession.
The Rattlers will remain on the road to play provisional conference member Oklahoma Christian University Saturday in Oklahoma City at 4 p.m.