SAN ANTONIO — The Rattlers granted the War Hawks their fourth loss on the season as they picked up their 12th win and eighth straight home victory inside Bill Greehey Arena on Saturday.
Trailing by one at the half, St. Mary’s picked it up in the second to sail past McMurry University 71-50 on the night the University introduced new Athletics Director Liz Dalton at halftime to home crowd.
Kevin Kotzur (RS-Sr., La Vernia, Texas) led in his usual manner, adding another double-double to his season stats, leading the night in points and rebounds with 26 and 11, respectively. Daryell Taylor (Sr., Houston) knocked down two 3-pointers for 12 total points and Fred Wilson (Jr., Seattle) added nine off the bench.
Drawing iron for much of a low-scoring first half, the Rattlers (12-3, 4-2 in conference) trailed by one, 25-24, at the break. Improving in all aspects in the second half, St. Mary’s turned its close game to a blowout after going on a 12-0 run backed by Taylor’s two 3’s midway through the frame.
“In the second half we just adjusted more,” said the newcomer Wilson (Jr., Seattle). “In the first half, things we shouldn’t be doing we were doing.”
The Rattlers doubled their own scoring in the second, going from 24 in the first to totaling 47 points in the final frame, stumping the War Hawks’ 25 points in the second. St. Mary’s also doubled McMurry (10-4) in rebounding 41-22 and kept it at a 28-percent field-goal percentage in the second half.
Gearing for another winning streak that peaked at eight straight, the Rattlers remain clear on their goals for the season. Currently holding a third-place rank in conference, St. Mary’s must continue its winning ways to advance to the conference tournament that takes the top four teams in the league.
“We try not to worry about what everybody else does,” said Wilson of the upcoming second half of league play. “We feel that if we do what we do, we give ourselves the best chance to win; pretty much just sticking to our basics.”
The Rattlers will get their first look at conference foe Dallas Baptist University on Thursday in Dallas at 7 p.m.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.