By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
UTSA 62-Rice 58 (PDF Box Score)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Rice Owls women's basketball team dropped a 62-58 decision Sunday afternoon at UTSA, nearly erasing an 11-point fourth quarter deficit in the process.
Rice (19-7, 9-5) received a career-high tying 18 points from junior guard Gabrielle Stanton, which included four of the Owls nine made three-pointers on the afternoon. Junior guard Nicole Iademarco added an additional 15 points while senior guard Wendy Knight chipped in 10 points.
UTSA (8-19, 6-9) outshot the Owls for the game, 44 percent-40 percent, and had a 40-30 advantage on the boards. Karrington Donald led the Roadrunners with 15 points but it was Marie Benson's 13 fourth quarter points that proved to be the difference. Benson made 5-of-7 shots in the final quarter and went 3-of-4 at the free throw line.
The shorthanded Owls fell behind 20-9 after the opening quarter but managed to trim the deficit to 32-23 at the half.
Rice found an offensive rhythm midway through the quarter and cut the UTSA lead down to 38-33 following an Iademarco layup. The Woodlands, Texas native scored eight points in the third quarter alone but UTSA came right back with a 10-4 spurt of their own behind consecutive Donald three-pointers to increase the lead back to 48-37 entering the fourth quarter.
In the final period, Rice made 5-of-10 shots from beyond the arc, three of which came from Stanton. Freshman Sydne Wiggins brought the Owls to within 53-50 with 2:58 remaining and then after a stop, Knight scored on a layup to make it a one point game.
UTSA would turn to Benson to stop the Rice run and she responded with 12 consecutive points for the Roadrunners. A late Knight three-pointer brought the Owls to within 61-58 with seven seconds remaining but UTSA sealed the victory at the free throw line.
The Owls will return to Houston next week for the final two regular season games of the C-USA schedule. Rice first hosts Louisiana Tech on Thursday at 5 p.m. followed by a showdown against North Texas on Saturday, March 3 at 4:30 p.m. on Senior Day.