Hawkins Delivers Game-Winner at Charlotte

Jan. 28, 2017

Final Stats

Rice 55-Charlotte 52 (PDF Box Score)

CHARLOTTE, NC – Rice senior guard Maya Hawkins knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer with eight seconds remaining in regulation to help lead the Owls to a dramatic 55-52 victory at Conference USA-leading Charlotte Saturday evening on ESPN3.

Rice (12-8, 3-6) defeated the 49ers (15-5, 7-2) for the first time in seven tries in the series history and handed Charlotte their first home loss of the season in the process.

“I’m proud of our team,” Rice head coach Tina Langley said. “We talked a lot about everything it takes to win on the road and in this conference, so I thought we played with great grit and fight today. I couldn’t be more proud of the way we defended, and it took a whole team. When a whole team commits to playing the way we did tonight, good things can happen.”

Senior forward Jasmine Goodwine led the Owls offensively with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting and surpassed two Rice legends (Valeriya Berezhynska and Morgan Mayse) to move to 11th place on the Rice all-time scoring list with 1,089 career points.

Trailing 52-51, Rice got the stop they were looking for with 31 seconds remaining and proceeded to setup the winning score without using a timeout. With the shot clock winding down, junior guard Shani Rainey found Hawkins wide open at the wing and the Fairview, Texas native delivered the game-winning three-pointer.

“This was such a team win, I didn’t have my best game but my teammates lifted me up,” Hawkins said. “Every timeout we looked at each other and said we had this game. That confidence they had in me, and that we have in each other, really helped us persevere through the highs and the lows tonight. I think that’s what gave me the confidence to make the shot; I knew I had the team behind me.”

Following the Hawkins make, Rice then got consecutive stops on the defensive end sandwiched around a Hawkins made free throw to preserve the win.

The Owls outshot Charlotte from the field (46 percent to 34 percent) and improved to 10-1 this season when they outrebound their opponents with a 38-37 edge on the boards.

Rice set the tone in the opening quarter by outscoring the 49ers 14-6, the lowest output by the 49ers in a quarter this season. The Owls defense limited Charlotte to just 17 percent shooting (3-of-18) in the first 10 minutes and Goodwine scored five early points to jumpstart the Rice offense.

Charlotte crept to within 16-12 early in the second quarter but Rice outscored the 49ers 16-11 the rest of the period to take a 32-23 halftime lead. During that stretch sophomore forward Lexie Ducat came off the bench to score 7 points while Rainey added an additional five points.

The 49ers came out in the second half strong with an 11-0 run over the first three minutes to take their first lead of the evening, 34-32. However, as was the case most of the night, Rice had an answer with a 10-0 spurt of their own centered around three-pointers from Goodwine and Nicole Iademarco. The 49ers made one final push in the quarter to trim the Rice lead to 42-41 entering the fourth quarter.

Charlotte took a 45-43 lead with 7:13 to play and kept that advantage until 1:48 to go when Hawkins’ left-handed layup fell through to give Rice a 51-50 lead. The 49erswent back in front 52-51 with 1:20 remaining on a layup from Nyilah Jamison-Meyers (16 points) but that setup the late Hawkins dramatics.

The Owls will return home to next Saturday, Feb. 4 when they host North Texas at 2 p.m. (CT) in the annual Play for Kay Game. For ticket information visit RiceOwls.com or call 713-348-OWLS (6957).

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