It took two overtimes, but the St. Mary's Rattlers pulled off its biggest upset in program history Friday, taking down the No. 1 team in DII women's basketball. The Rattlers defeated Central Missouri 101-97 in their first game of the St. Mary's Thanksgiving Classic.
It was the Jennies' first loss since March 1, who had won 10 straight games including the 2018 national championship. While it doesn't get any easier for the defending champs to bounce back, facing No. 10 Lubbock Christian on Saturday, the Rattlers look to keep rolling against Kutztown.
Let's take a look at who this Rattlers team is through three key numbers.
6-1: St. Mary's record after the big upset on Friday. That's quite the improvement on last season's start, when the Rattlers opened 2-6. The Rattlers have feasted on the Lone Star Conference thus far in 2018, going 4-1 against teams in the conference, with their only loss coming to Tarleton State.
St. Mary's is red hot, winners of five in a row and surging as it readies for Heartland Conference play. Mark your calendars. The Rattlers open Heartland Conference play on Jan. 10 when they face a 4-1 St. Edward's team also off to a hot start. After that, the No. 10-ranked Lady Chaps come to Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas as the Rattlers host the perennial HC favorites in a big early conference test.
16, 11: Points and rebounds totaled by sophomore Hannah Wilson in her second consecutive double-double. It's her third of the season, bettering her total from her very impressive 2017-18 freshman debut. She's also missed just two shots in the past two games, making her a steady and intimidating presence in the post.
With an already high-scoring trio, Wilson's emergence could be the X-factor behind a surprise Rattlers' season. After averaging 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds as a freshman, her current totals of 9.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game put her on the early season breakout performers watchlist.
35: Points scored by Kaitlin Walla on Friday, tying her for the second-most in Rattlers' single-game history. Walla was an impressive 5 of 7 behind the arc while going nearly perfect at the free throw line with a 10 of 11 day. Soteria Banks was impressive as well, chipping in 29 points. The duo was instrumental in turning the tide of the game, as the Rattlers came out of the first quarter down 24-13 and didn't lose a quarter after that.
Walla is a big addition, transferring in from Texas State, giving the Rattlers a formidable Big Three that can rival any in the Heartland Conference. She joins last year's leading scorer Arysia Porter and the reigning HC Freshman of the Year in Banks in contributing 43.7 of the Rattlers 69.6 points per game in 2018.