Owls Comeback Falls Short at UTEP
Jan. 4, 2015
EL PASO, Texas - Despite a game-high 23 points by Rice sophomore Maya Hawkins, a Rice Owls women's basketball team comeback fell just short in a 54-51 loss at the Don Haskins Center to the UTEP Miners Sunday afternoon.
Rice (6-7, 1-1) had a shot to tie the game with two seconds remaining trailing 54-51 but Christal Porter's three-point attempt from the top of the key rimmed out as time expired.
"We had far too many defensive breakdowns and missed too many shots today," Rice head coach Greg Williams said. "Maya again had an outstanding game but we couldn't get her enough help. There were so many things in a game this close and we've stressed to them how important each possession is come conference, especially in a tight game. If we just changed a couple possessions we might have been in the locker room screaming after a win. It's tough to start conference with three games on the road but that's the hand we've been dealt and we'll try and make the most of it."
Hawkins, who scored 11 second half points, led an Owls comeback in which Rice tied the game with 2:07 after trailing by 10 early in the half. However, UTEP outscored the Owls 5-2 the rest of the way with back-to-back baskets sandwiched around a Rice turnover.
Rice shot just 33 percent for the game and missed 10-of-20 attempts at the free throw line. UTEP (7-4, 2-0) outscored the Owls 32-14 in the paint and were led in scoring by Irena Gari (15 points).
The Owls erased a 21-13 deficit by going on a 10-0 run to regain a 23-21 lead at the 3:30 mark of the first half. During that stretch Rice held the Miners scoreless for six minutes, forcing four turnovers and five missed shots from the field. UTEP would outscore the Owls 6-4 the remainder of the half to take a 29-25 lead into halftime.
Hawkins led Rice with 12 first half points on 4-of-9 shooting (2-of-4 from beyond the arc) while Goodwine chipped in 6 points. Rice shot 36 percent (10-of-28) from the field in the first 20 minutes while UTEP shot at a 43 percent (13-of-30) clip. The Miners led for a little over 13 minutes of the opening half thanks to a team-best 9 points from Gari.
The Owls will now have five days off before wrapping up their four-game road trip Saturday at North Texas at 4 p.m.