HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The Rice Owls women's basketball team notched their first win of the season with a 58-46 victory over the Sam Houston State Bearkats Thursday evening at Johnson Coliseum, giving head coach Tina Langley the first win of her collegiate coaching career.
"I'm just really proud of this team tonight, what a great team win," Langley said afterwards. "Everyone's been working incredibly hard during finals week. It was neat to be able to get back on the floor together and see them all really in sync and competing together as one. I was proud of how prepared everyone was for this game."
Rice junior guard Maya Hawkins recorded her second consecutive 20-point outing with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including a 4-of-5 performance from beyond the arc, and also dished out a season0high six assists. The Owls also got a tremendous performance from their bench, outscoring the Bearkats 25-15.
The trio of Alyssa Lang (7 points), Gabrielle Stanton (8 points), and Lauren Grigsby (7 points) came off the bench to score a combined 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting with Lang pulling down a season and career-high 12 rebounds. Grigsby also dished out six assists and Stanton knocked down two of the Owls' six made three-pointers.
The Owls (1-7) led start to finish and established season-highs in assists (18) and free throw percentage (76.9) while holding the Bearkats (4-4) to an opponents' season low 46 points.
Rice got off to a terrific start by winning the first quarter 19-10 thanks to an 8-2 push to end the period. Hawkins scored eight points in the quarter including a long trifecta as the first quarter buzzer sounded. The two teams played to a 14-14 second period to go into halftime with a 33-24 advantage.
The Bearkats trimmed the Owls' lead to 47-43 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter but a 10-3 run with timely shots put the game out of reach.
Rice will now have just one day off before traveling to Nacogdoches to face the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (4-5) at 9 p.m. on Saturday. The Owls then return home to face Texas Southern on Monday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. in the final game before the Christmas break.