FORT SMITH – Senior forward Ellie Lehne scored a team-high 18 points to lead the UAFS Lady Lions, but that wasn’t enough as the suddenly surging St. Mary’s Lady Rattlers beat the Lady Lions 65-48 in Heartland Conference play on Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas.
It was the final game of a three-game road trip for UAFS (6-13, 3-3), which finished 1-2 during that span with losses to conference leader Lubbock Christian and St. Mary’s and a win against Texas A&M International.
UAFS and St. Mary’s are in a four-way tie for third place in the conference and are three games behind Lubbock Christian and one game behind second place Newman.
It was the seventh game in which Lehne has led the Lady Lions in scoring. She leads the Lady Lions in scoring overall with 12.1 points per game. Lehne and junior guard Alexsis Brown, who had 11 points, were the only Lady Lions to score in double-figures. Junior forward Tamera Gulley had a team-high five rebounds.
UAFS shot only 36 percent from the field (19 of 53) – it was 0-for-16 shooting from 3-point range – and shot just 77 percent from the free-throw line (10 of 13).
St. Mary’s (13-5, 3-3), which was ranked in both the WBCA and D2SIDA Top 25 polls for several week earlier this season, shot 45 percent from the field (26 of 58) – it was 5-of-14 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 62 percent from the free-throw line (8 of 13).
Senior guard Kaitlin Walla scored a team-high 24 points, while senior guard Arysia Porter scored 16 points off the bench and sophomore guard Soteria Banks scored 13 points. Sophomore post Hannah Wilson had eight rebounds to help the Rattlers out-rebound the Lady Lions by 13 rebounds (40-27). St. Mary’s had 14 offensive rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points.
UAFS will return to conference play at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday when the Lady Lions host the Rogers State Hillcats at the Stubblefield Center.
ST. MARY’S 65, UAFS 48
UAFS 9 9 9 21 — 48
St. Mary’s 15 17 10 23 — 65
UAFS (6-13, 3-3): Lehne 18, A. Brown 11, Gulley 9, D. Brown 2, Terry 2, Bonham 2, Green 2, Culley 2
St. Mary’s (13-5, 3-3): Walla 24, Porter 16, Banks 13, Wandji 5, Wilson 4, Culiver 2, Thomas 1