By: Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rice 89-Florida Atlantic 55 (PDF Box Score)
HOUSTON - The Rice Owls women's basketball team led from start to finish in an impressive 89-55 win over the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse, the team's largest margin of victory in a Conference USA contest since 2007.
Rice's (14-9, 5-7) 89 points were a season-high during league play and the Owls placed five players in double-figure scoring, led by a game-high 18 points from sophomore Nicole Iademarco. Wendy Knight (16 points), Shani Rainey (13 points), Lauren Grigsby (10 points) and Gabby
Ozoude (10 points) also scored in double-figures. In addition to her career-high in points, Ozoude snagged a game and career-high 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
The Owls set a C-USA season-high with 25 team assists, led by a season-high tying nine helpers from senior Maya Hawkins. Rice outshot FAU (4-19, 0-12) 52 percent-33 percent and shot a stellar 89 percent (17-of-19) at the free throw line to improve to 8-4 at Tudor Fieldhouse this season.
"I'm proud of the way we came out defensively," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "We've been working really hard as a team to be more disciplined on that end and I think that helps us transition to the offensive end of the floor. That really helped us get off to a good start today."
Rice came out on fire in the opening quarter by grabbing a 20-6 lead in the first eight minutes. Knight scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting, including two made three-pointers.
The Owls continued to pour it on in the second quarter, using a 20-4 run to open up a 45-12 advantage with 3:31 left in the half. Rice finished with 54 first half points, tied for the fourth-most first half points by Rice in school history, matching the 1993-94 Owls' 54-point effort vs. Kent State.
Rice and FAU played to a 35-35 tie in the second half but the damage had already been done as the Owls cruised to their 14th victory of the season.
The Owls, who moved up to ninth place in the C-USA standings, will next embark on a four-game road trip which begins next Thursday at UTSA (7 p.m.), followed by a Saturday afternoon contest at UTEP (2 p.m.).