Charlotte Pulls Away from Owls in Second Half
Jan. 17, 2015
HOUSTON, Texas - Despite three players scoring in double-figures, the Rice Owls women's basketball team was unable to get key stops down the stretch in a 62-59 home loss to the Charlotte 49ers Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (6-10, 1-4) was led in scoring by sophomore forward Jasmine Goodwine, who scored 15 points while senior post Christal Porter chipped in 14 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Maya Hawkins also scored in double-figures with 12 points, making the Owls' lone two, three-pointers on the afternoon.
Charlotte (7-10, 3-2) won their third consecutive game by outscoring the Owls 42-31 in the second half and outshot Rice 47-36 percent for the game. Forward Kira Gordon scored a game-high 21 points while Olivia Rankin and Lefty Webster pitched in 10 points apiece.
"This is the second game in a row we've had a halftime lead and let it get away from us in the second half," Rice head coach Greg Williams said. "It's disappointing to have that happen after playing great defense the first 20 minutes. We then allow 42 points in the second half and we just can't go point for point and we know that. They hit some big shots down the stretch. We missed a lot of easy shots that came back to haunt us. We're struggling to shoot the ball so when we get good looks and don't finish them it's really draining for our team."
Rice dominated for most of the first half, outscoring the 49ers 28-20 thanks in large part to a 14-5 advantage in turnovers that the Owls converted into 14 points. The Owls also had a 10-2 edge in second chance points in the first 20 minutes and grabbed eight offensive rebounds.
The Owls were able to shut down a couple early runs by Charlotte in the second half and a Hawkins three-pointer with 10:48 remaining pushed the Rice lead back to 42-35. However, over the next four minutes the 49ers went on a 12-4 run to claim the lead first the first time since they led 2-0.
Webster gave Charlotte the lead (49-48) for good on a driving layup with 5:40 left. Rice was able to cut the deficit to one point on three different occasions but could never get over the hump. After Hawkins' second made three-pointer of the afternoon trimmed the deficit to 57-56 with 1:47 remaining, Charlotte's Ciara Gregory responded with the biggest shot of the game, draining a three-pointer with 1:18 to go to push the lead back to 60-56.
Rice had one last opportunity to try and tie the game when Charlotte missed a pair of free throws with a 62-59 lead and five seconds remaining but Porter was forced to take a half court three-point attempt that came up well short.
The Owls will now hit the road for a couple of game next week, beginning Thursday at Southern Miss at 6 p.m., followed by a trip to Ruston, Louisiana to face the Lady Techsters on Saturday at 6 p.m.