HOUSTON - The Rice Owls women's basketball used a big third quarter run to pull away from the ULM Warhawks in a 63-47 victory Thursday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (7-2), who was receiving votes in this week's USA Today Coaches' Poll, improved to 4-0 at home this season thanks in part to a 17-2 run to begin the third quarter, which broke the game open and propelled the Owls to victory.
"We made some big improvements in the second half tonight and we had a lot of contributors," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "I'm mostly proud of the way we changed defensively in the second half and a lot of that had to do with our ball pressure."
Rice placed three players in double-figure scoring, led by a game-high 15 points from senior guard Wendy Knight. The San Antonio, Texas native recorded her third straight game with 10 or more points by scoring 10 points in the second half and made 3-of-6 attempts from beyond the arc. Redshirt sophomore Erica Ogwumike added an additional 13 points while junior Nicole Iademarco scored 10 points and tied a season-high with eight rebounds.
Sophomore center Gabby Ozoude just missed out on her second career double-double, scoring nine points while pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Rice limited ULM (2-6) to just 29 percent shooting from the field and posted a 14-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The Owls made 9-of-26 three-point attempts, marking the fifth time this season they have made nine or more long balls.
The Owls broke open an 8-8 tie in the first quarter with a 7-0 run over the final 3:18 to take a 15-8 leading going to the second period. However, in the second quarter ULM outscored the Owls 13-10 and used an 8-2 run of their own to pull to within 25-21 at halftime.
Rice would respond in a big way in the third period, using the 17-2 run to open up a 42-23 advantage following a Knight three-pointer at the 4:54 mark. During the run, Ogwumike scored 10 points, including a stretch of eight consecutive Rice points.
ULM never got any closer than 13 points the rest of the quarter and the two teams played to a 16-16 draw in the final quarter with Rice taking a lead as large as 22 points.
Rice returns to action on Monday, Dec. 18 when they travel south to face the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at 7 p.m. before making one last non-conference road appearance at Prairie View A&M on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m.