Rice 56-UTEP 42 (PDF Box Score)
HOUSTON – Three Owls scored in double-figures and Rice limited the UTEP Miners to just 32 percent shooting in a 56-42 win at Tudor Fieldhouse Friday evening.
Rice (15-3, 5-1) improved to 7-0 at home this season and ran their win streak at the friendly confines to 11 straight dating back to last season by holding an 11th straight opponent below 70 points. On the offensive end, the Owls made 12-of-27 attempts (44.4 percent) from three-point range.
“I thought this was a tremendous, all-around team win tonight,” Rice head coach Tina Langley said. “Everyone came in ready to play and made big contributions. I thought we did a good job this week preparing. It was great to get back in our home gym and play the way we did.”
Redshirt sophomore Erica Ogwumike recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a team-high 13 points (5-of-8 shooting) and 10 rebounds while junior Nicole Iademarco matched her with 13 points, connecting on 4-of-9 from three-point territory. In addition, senior guard Wendy Knight reached double-figures (11 points) for an eighth straight game.
The Owls led the Miners (12-7, 3-3) for a little over 36 minutes of the 40 minutes on Friday, and limited UTEP to an opponents’ season-low 15 first half points. Rice jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first six minutes with the help of six points from Ogwumike and won the opening quarter 15-10.
In the second quarter, Rice held the Miners to just five points on 2-of-12 shooting (16.7 percent) and didn’t allow a made field goal to UTEP in the final 7:31 of the quarter. The Owls created a 29-15 halftime cushion with an 11-1 run to close the quarter, knocking down three consecutive three-pointers in the process.
Iademarco scored seven consecutive points for the Owls in the third quarter and helped extend the Rice lead to 19 points (38-19) with 5:32 left in the period. That advantage grew to as large as 46-21 after Tayler Bennett made consecutive three-pointers near the end of the quarter.
UTEP began the fourth quarter with a made three-pointer, the first trifecta the Rice defense had allowed in seven quarters. The Miners would outscore the Owls 17-10 in the fourth but Rice still managed to cruise to the 56-52 win.
The Owls will look to complete a weekend home sweep on Sunday when they host Old Dominion at 2 p.m. from Tudor Fieldhouse. That contest will be streamed on ESPN3 and Rice will be celebrating African Heritage Day.