— RiceWBasketball (@RiceWBasketball) January 14, 2017
DENTON, Texas - The Rice Owls women's basketball team erased a 13-point third quarter deficit to capture their first C-USA victory of the season with a 51-49 triumph at North Texas Saturday afternoon at The Super Pit.
Rice (10-6, 1-4) outscored North Texas (5-11, 2-3) 31-23 in the second half and rallied to win from a halftime deficit for the first time this season. The Owls also improved to 8-0 against teams from the state of Texas.
Seniors Maya Hawkins (16 points) and Jasmine Goodwine (14 points) led the way offensively for the Owls, combining for 30 of Rice's 51 points.
"What a team win for us, we got off to a tough start and it really just took every single player on the team contributing in different ways," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "Maya's confidence and leadership really took over in that third quarter and that's what gave our team the spark we needed to come back. Player for player we really had some great moments."
The Owls took control of the game early by outscoring the Mean Green 15-12 in the opening quarter, shooting the ball at a 50 percent clip (7-of-14) from the field. However, in the second period the Rice offense went cold, scoring just five points on 2-of-11 shooting and North Texas took advantage, grabbing a 26-20 halftime advantage.
Rice continued to have a rough go of it on the offensive end to start the third quarter, going scoreless for the first 5:57 of the period and North Texas seemed primed to pull away after extending their lead to 33-20 with 4:03 left in the quarter.
It was at that moment that the Owls refused to let the game slip away. The Owls proceeded to go on a 13-0 run in which Hawkins, Goodwine and Nicole Iademarco all made three-pointers and Rice entered the fourth trailing just 35-34.
In the all-important fourth period neither team was able to find separation through the first eight minutes until Ducat made a critical layup on a putback with 1:19 remaining to give Rice a 48-46 advantage. Goodwine would later follow with a putback of her own with 30 seconds left to give the Owls a 50-46 cushion.
However, Iademarco was whistled for a technical foul on the play battling for position down low. North Texas trimmed the Rice lead to 50-48 after a pair of free throws and then had three cracks at tying or taking the lead on the ensuing possession but settled for a split at the free throw line.
Leading 50-49 with seven seconds remaining, the Mean Green fouled Hawkins to send her to the charity stripe where the senior missed the first and made the second. Without any timeouts, North Texas pushed the ball and got off a last second three-pointer from the corner that clanged off the rim and gave the Owls an emotional 51-49 victory on the road.
Rice will look to build off Saturday's win next week when they open up a mini two-game homestand beginning with Louisiana Tech on Thursday (7 p.m.), followed by a Saturday afternoon contest against Southern Miss.