HOUSTON - Rice junior Jasmine Goodwine scored an Owls' season-high 22 points and sophomore Shani Rainey chipped in 13 points, but a 25-16 edge in the fourth quarter by the Harvard Crimson proved to be the difference in a 67-61 loss Saturday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Owls (0-5) rallied from a 12-point first quarter deficit to take a 45-42 lead entering the fourth quarter but the Crimson (4-2) responded with their best offensive quarter of the night, scoring 14 of their 25 points in the paint in the period.
"It was a really good game for both teams competition wise," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "Both teams competed extremely hard. Obviously we would have liked to come out on the other end but I like how we continue to fight and grow as a team and I'm excited about where we're headed."
Rice had a slight edge shooting from the field, 44.4 percent-43.6 percent, but hurt themselves by making 8-of-20 (40 percent) at the free throw line.
Goodwine posted the fourth 20-point game of her career and the 22 points were her second-highest as an Owl. The Killeen, Texas native made 9-of-14 shots from the field, including the first three-pointer of her career, while also grabbing a team-high seven rebounds in 27 minutes.
"I'm excited for Jasmine because she's been putting in a lot of extra work," said Langley. "She's really focused in on all areas. Not only did she score well tonight but she was a great screener, worked hard on the defensive end, and it was exciting to see her perform like that on both ends of the floor."
Harvard had four players score in double-figures, including a team-best 15 points from Kit Metoyer. The Crimson outscored Rice in points in the paint (30-26), points off turnovers (11-5) and bench scoring (20-14).
Harvard opened up a lead as large as 20-8 in the opening quarter but the Owls cut into the deficit with a 7-0 run midway through the second period. An offensive putback by Megan Palmer sliced Harvard's lead to 24-21 with 3:52 left before halftime before the Crimson pushed the lead back to 30-23 at halftime.
Rice came out of the locker room and dominated the third quarter by outscoring Harvard 22-12 and took the lead for the first time in the game at the 1:40 mark on a three-point play by Alyssa Lang. Rainey scored eight of her 13 points in the period while Goodwine scored seven points in the quarter.
A 13-2 run by Harvard to start the fourth quarter gave the Crimson the lead for good as the Owls would pull to within 57-55 with 2:17 to go but were unable to get any closer.
The Owls will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Waco to face the No. 4/5 Baylor Bears in the team's third showdown against a Top-25 opponent this non-conference season.