NORFOLK, VA – Despite four players scoring in double-figures, the Rice Owls women’s basketball team was unable to erase a big first half deficit in an 81-66 loss Thursday evening at Old Dominion.
Rice (11-8, 2-6) lost to the Lady Monarchs (9-10, 4-4) for the second time this season largely in part to the effort by ODU’s Jennie Simms, who poured in a game-high 34 points on 12-of-22 shooting and a 5-of-7 effort at the free throw line. The Owls, who allowed a season-high in points, were outscored 18-2 in second chance points and fell to 2-7 when getting outrebounded (36-23).
Nicole Iademarco led all Rice players with 14 points while Jasmine Goodwine (12 points), Shani Rainey (12 points) and Maya Hawkins (10 points) all scored in double-figures as well. In the loss, Goodwine (1,073 career points) moved into 13th place on the Rice all-time scoring list by passing former Owl Brenda Conaway (1,072 career points).
“Hats off to Old Dominion, I thought they played a great game,” Rice head coach Tina Langley said. “They defended us incredibly well and when we look back at the film we’ll see that we need to improve boxing out and taking care of the basketball going forward. The way we came back in the third quarter was encouraging; we’ve just got to be able to recover quicker than we did in that second quarter.”
After a promising opening quarter in which Rice outscored the Lady Monarchs 20-18, ODU answered back by breaking the game open with a 20-1 run to end the period and take a 41-24 halftime lead.
Rice managed to quickly slice the deficit down to 45-38 with 6:50 left in the third quarter after a Hawkins three-pointer capped a 14-4 Owls’ run. However, Simms had an answer of her own with back-to-back made three-pointers. Rice never got to within single digits despite scoring a season-high 29 points in the third period.
The Owls will look to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to Charlotte to face the 49ers at 6 p.m. (CT). That contest will be streamed nationally on ESPN3.