By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Final Stats (HTML)
Rice (4-17, 3-7) led for 23:29 but a third quarter in which Southern Miss (12-9, 5-5) outscored the Owls 21-9 proved to be the difference. In addition to Goodwine, Rice's bench (22 points) had one of their better performances of the season led by 10 points from freshman guard Gabrielle Stanton and another eight points by freshman guard Lauren Grigsby.
The loss for the Owls was another gritty performance on the road against one of the better C-USA teams.
"We played a very good LA Tech team on Thursday to one possession at their place and then for three quarters battled a Southern Miss team who's undefeated at home," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "We're still learning to finish but I couldn't be prouder of the effort this team gives every night. We will get there."
Goodwine scored in double-figures for the 10th time this season and sixth straight overall by making 6-of-11 shots from the field, including one three-pointer, and 2-of-2 at the free throw line. She also tied her career-high with 11 rebounds for a third time this season.
The Lady Eagles had four players score in double-digits, led by Caitlin Jenkins' game-high 16 points. Jayla King (15 points), Brittny Norris (13 points) and Keri Jewett-Giles (11 points) also contributed double-figure scoring.
Rice played a terrific opening half offensively, connecting on 50 percent (15-of-30) of their shots from the field en route to a 36-31 halftime lead. Seven different Owls scored four or more points in the half and the team recorded 13 assists on 15 of their made shots.
Coming out of halftime Goodwine scored the Owls' first seven points but Southern Miss kept close thanks to three made three-pointers from Norris. The Lady Eagles closed the quarter on a 13-2 run to take a 52-45 advantage going to the fourth.
After a Jenkins jumper pushed Southern Miss' lead to 54-45 to start the fourth, the Owls responded with a 10-0 run capped by a Stanton three-pointer with 5:10 remaining to regive Rice a 55-54 lead. However, the Lady Eagles would not relinquish their advantage following a Jenkins three-point play on the next possession, and outscored Rice 14-7 the rest of the way.
The Owls will look to bounce back next week when they return home for a pair of contests, beginning Thursday, Feb. 11 vs. Charlotte (7 p.m.)