Dec. 28, 2009
Box Score in PDF Format
Houston -- Sophomore guard D'Frantz Smart scored a season-high 16 points to go along with four steals and four assists to pace the Rice women's basketball team to a 57-48 victory over visiting Northwestern Sate Monday night (Dec. 28) in Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice campus.
Smart led all scorers in the contest, including three Owls in double-figures in the team's first game back from the holidays. Both teams battled to knock the rust off as well as knock-down shots in the early going, but Rice took advantage of 11 Northwestern State turnovers to build an 11-point lead midway through the first half, 20-9. As the Demons began to chip away at the margin with a 9-4 run, Smart hit a three-pointer to slow the threat and junior forward Morgan Mayes added another for an eventual 31-27 lead at the half.
Smart then scored Rice's first six points in the opening minutes of the second half to guide a 13-5 exchange that put the Blue & Gray up by nine, 41-32. The sophomore from Chicago, Ill., quietly grabbed five of the team's 45 rebounds and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line to help close out the Owls third win in the last four games.
Rice finished the night shooting 22-of-70 (31.4 percent) from the floor, but head coach Greg Williams explained that it's not uncommon for teams to have to work their way back into a playing rhythm after the semester exams and Holidays. He was pleased the team found success where it needed to in order to win.
"The first game back from the holidays points are usually at a premium, and tonight was no exception," Williams said. "You don't win many games shooting 31 percent from the field, but we were able to do that tonight. We had 20 more field goal attempts than Northwestern State and that was because we did an OK job getting some offensive rebounds and we had 17 points off turnovers. We were able to capitalize on their turnovers and that was key. When you're not shooting as well as you can, than you have to do other things and we did that tonight.
"D'Frantz had a solid game," Williams added. "She's had good practices and she's doing a really good job of leading the team and playing more aggressively. Jessica Goswitz played well tonight with 11 points and seven rebounds. Candace Ashford gave us some solid minutes off the bench with eight rebounds in 19 minutes."
The Owls improved to 3-7 overall. Rice is back in action for another home game on Wednesday night (Dec. 30) against Hofstra. Tipoff is set for 7 pm in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Northwestern State fell to 6-6 on the season. Brittiany Houston led the Demons with 15 points.