Rice 60-IWU 43 (PDF Box Score)
HOUSTON – Behind a strong defensive performance, the Rice Owls women’s basketball team cruised to a 60-43 victory over the Incarnate Word Cardinals Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (6-2), who was playing in their first game in nine days, ended a two game losing skid by limiting IWU (1-8) to 26 percent shooting from the floor. Offensively, the Owls had three players score in double-figures, led by redshirt sophomore Erica Ogwumike (18 points). Junior guard Nicole Iademarco (12 points) and senior guard Wendy Knight (10 points) also pushed across 10 or more points.
“Our kids have been working incredibly hard during finals,” Rice head coach Tina Langley said. “I think that showed a little bit on the court today. We didn’t play with the fluidity that we usually do on the offensive end and had a couple breakdowns defensively. Fortunately, we did enough to come away with a win. When we were able to get our defense set and really lock in I thought we did a nice job today.”
The Owls led start to finish on Saturday, jumping out to a 14-1 lead in the opening quarter and a 16-5 advantage after the first 10 minutes were played. Rice’s defense held the Cardinals to just 2-of-17 (0-for-8 three-point territory) shooting in the first period.
UIW managed to cut the Rice lead to 27-18 in the closing minutes of the first half before Rice took a 30-18 at the break.
However, the Owls came out the aggressors in the third quarter and used a 10-1 run to break the game open and take a 40-19 lead. All 10 points during the run came on layups, two of which were from Knight. Ogwumike added an additional six points in the quarter on 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line.
The Cardinals trimmed the Rice lead down to 48-38 with 8:38 left in the game but a personal 5-0 run by Iademarco gave the Owls all the cushion they would need en route to the 60-43 victory.
Rice will be back in action next Thursday, Dec. 14 when they host the ULM Warhawks at 7 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with men’s basketball.