SAN ANTOINIO, Texas – After two-consecutive strong defensive games, McMurry women’s basketball squad could not contain St. Mary’s University on the road, suffering a 69-51 setback at the Bill Greehey Arena.
The loss dropped the War Hawks to 2-11 overall and 2-5 in the Heartland. The Rattlers improved to 13-2 on the year and are 8-1 in league games.
SMU led by as much as 13 points in the opening period – 29-16 at the 5:18 mark – before a surge by McM cut the deficit to nine points at the break, 32-23.
The War Hawks came out on fire in the second stanza, making another big run at the Rattlers. McMurry out-scored SMU 14-7 during the first seven minutes of the period to draw to within two points – 39-37 – after a jumper by Jaryn Koenig with 13:16 left in the game.
But St. Mary’s responded by going on a 14-0 skein of its own over the next four minutes to dash McM’s comeback hopes. The Rattlers led by as much as 20 points in the waning moments.
Senior forward Keshia Collins was McMurry’s lone layer to reach double-figure scoring with 18 points. Collins hit 5-of-12 from the floor and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw stripe. She also had six rebounds and a block.
Sophomore guard Sierra Maykus had all seven of her points in the first half. Fellow sophomore Taylor Russell contributed nine points and pulled down a workman-like nine rebounds to top the War Hawks. Koenig also tallied six points and tied for game-high assist honors with four helps.
As a team, the McMurry team shot nearly 38 percent from the field as a team (17-52), while the Rattlers connected on 46 percent (27-59). Both teams made just one bucket from beyond the arc.
St. Mary’s held a big advantage inside, posting a 48-22 point scoring advantage in the paint. SMU also held the upper hand in points off turnovers (21-12), second-chance point (15-9) and fastbreak points (8-0).
McMurry will return to Kimbrell Arena next weekend, hosting UT Permian Basin on Thursday evening and Heartland Conference leader Lubbock Christian on Saturday.
“Losing and being on the road aren’t a good combination,” McM head coach Veronica Snow said of her team’s looking forward to playing on its own floor. “The girls on this team; we’re figuring out what we can learn from (the loss) and how we can grow and some long-term things that can help us down the road.”