A hot-shooting St. Mary's squad jumped out of the gate with a 28-point first quarter while knocking down 12 three-pointers in the game to earn an 81-58 victory over the Midwestern State women's basketball team in the Ashbrook Classic finale Saturday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
St. Mary's (1-1) recorded six of its 12 triples in the opening period with senior guard Dezirae Elias tallying 10 points on 2-of-2 shooting from behind the arc and junior guard Ciaira Briseno shooting 3-of-4 from long range to put the Rattlers up 28-6 after the first 10 minutes of play.
The Rattlers stretched their lead to as many as 27 early in the second period, going on to claim a 45-22 advantage at the half.
Midwestern State (0-2) was unable to pull closer early in the second half as the Rattlers continued to shoot well from three-point range to take a 60-36 lead after three.
The Mustangs saw their best offensive quarter come in the fourth with the MSU bench sparking a 22-point period. Freshman guard Anni Scholl scored five-straight points for Midwestern midway through the quarter before sophomore guard Whitney Taylor reeled off five straight to trim the deficit down to 17 at 69-52 with 3:22 remaining. However, the Rattlers proved to be too strong down the stretch, not allowing the Mustangs to pull any closer to record the 81-58 victory.
Freshman forward McKenna Villegas came off the bench for a team-best 11 points and eight boards in 23 minutes of action. Freshman forward Kendriana Washington added eight points, five rebounds and three steals in the loss.
St. Mary's was led by junior forward Kiara Etheridge, who finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
The Rattlers finished with a 46.7 shooting percentage (28-of-60) from the field and 57.1 percent clip (12-of-21) from behind the arc while holding MSU to 30.9 percent shooting (17-of-55).