After a rather low scoring start to Thursdays game in Bill Geehey Arena on the St. Mary's campus, the Mustang women's basketball team used a second half surge to overcome their early deficit. It then took an extra five minutes after regulation play for WNMU to secure the 80-75 over the Rattlers.
Kaela Chavez (Las Cruces, New Mexico/Centennial High School) – 22 PTS | 8- 13 FG | 6-10 3FG | 4 REB
Kayla Clark (Mesa, Arizona/Dobson High School) – 21 PTS | 7-15 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB
Paulina Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico/Montverde Academy) – 17 PTS | 7-8 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST
Kyanne Kowatch (Tularosa, NM/) – 11 PTS | 4-6 FG | 7 REB | 5 AST
HOW IT HAPPENED:
St. Mary's go off to a hot start, going for seven unanswered points in the first four minutes of play. It wasn't until half the quarter had past, the WNMU would put their first score on the board with a couple of free throws from Paulina Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico/Montverde Academy). Turning the tables on StMU, the Mustangs scored the final six points of the quarter to get themselves into double-digits.
A fairly quiet second quarter, WNMU trailed 17-28 at the half in what was looking like would be a low scoring game.
Out of the break, it would be the Mustangs to go on a 9-0 scoring run, 7 of those points coming from Kayla Clark (Mesa, Arizona/Dobson High School). In an effort to close the gap, WNMU rallied together to put up 25 points in the third quarter. Kaela Chavez (Las Cruces, New Mexico/Centennial High School) chipped in half of her final total in that quarter alone, going a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, and 2-for-2 in long range shots. As a team
WNMU shot 66.7 percent from the field, holding the Rattlers to just half of that in the third.
Carrying the momentum into the fourth quarter, WNMU was finally able to tie it up on a three pointer from Kaela Chavez (Las Cruces, New Mexico/Centennial High School). Shortly after, a trio of Mustangs contributed baskets to take and extend the lead to seven with four minutes to play.
It wasn't until the last minute of regulation that St. Mary's decided they wouldn't go down without a fight. St. Mary's leading scorer, would capture the basket and the foul, sinking her free throw attempt to tie it at 65 and force an overtime period.
With an extra five minutes on the clock, WNMU made a statement scoring 9 points within the first minute and a half. St. Mary's pulled within two with thirty seconds remaining, but
Paulina Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico/Montverde Academy) would secure the 80-75 victory at the free throw line.
As a team, WNMU went 27-of-65 (41.5%) from the floor, while holding St. Mary's to a 33% clip. The Rattlers dominated the battle of the boards, 61-42, 30 of which were offensive but could not convert the put backs to score.
The road trip continues on to Austin, Texas where the Mustangs will take on the Hilltoppers of St. Edward's, Saturday at 2 p.m. CST.