HOUSTON - The Rice Owls women's basketball team ran their win streak to three straight with a 52-49 triumph at Texas Southern Sunday afternoon at H&PE Arena. Rice (6-2) returned from a seven-day layoff for final exams by winning their fifth contest in their last six outings for their best eight-game start since the 2000-01 season.
The Owls got the job done on Sunday with their defense, forcing the Lady Tigers (5-3) into an opponent-high 29 turnovers and limiting TSU to 34 percent shooting from the field. Offensively Rice had six players score seven or more points, including a game-high 12 points from senior forward Jasmine Goodwine. Junior guard Wendy Knight added an additional 10 points while senior guard Maya Hawkins filled the box score with seven points, five assists and a career-high six steals.
"That was a hard fought win," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "TSU is a very good, well-coached team. I'm proud of the toughness our players showed on the road. We really stepped up our defense and got stops in critical moments."
Rice took a 13-11 lead after the opening quarter thanks to a Hawkins floater in the paint with the final seconds ticking down. The Owls, who dominated points the paint 34-20, scored 10 of their 13 points down low in the opening period and redshirt sophomore forward Nicole Iademarco gave Rice a boost with seven points in the quarter.
The Owls would never relinquish the lead the remaining 30 minutes and took a 28-24 lead into the locker room at halftime. Rice improved to 6-0 this season when they take a lead into halftime. Knight scored seven of her 10 points in the second quarter and the Owls shot 54 percent from the field over the 10 minutes.
Rice turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter by limiting the Lady Tigers to 27 percent shooting en route to a 16-9 edge in points in the period. Goodwine and Shani Rainey scored five points apiece in the quarter and Rice increased their advantage to 44-33 entering the fourth.
TSU rallied late in the fourth quarter to close the once 13-point Rice lead (46-33, 8:44) to 49-45 with 1:19 remaining, but the Owls got the stops when needed late and made three free throws to seal the victory.
The Owls will be looking for their first four-game win streak since 2012 when they host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-4) on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.