HOUSTON – Rice sophomore guard Shani Rainey recorded her second double-double in as many games but a 9-2 close by the Loyola Chicago Ramblers proved to be the difference in a 57-50 home loss Monday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Owls (1-10) held Loyola (4-7) to just 36 percent shooting from the field in the non-conference finale, but 24 Rice turnovers resulted in a 25-11 points off turnovers advantage for the Ramblers.
Rainey registered her third double-double of the season with a game-high 15 points and tied Jasmine Goodwine for the team-lead with 11 rebounds. Rainey, who scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, made just 3-of-10 shots from the field but made up for it with an 8-of-11 performance at the free throw line. Goodwine just missed out on a double-double as well, adding nine points to her 11 boards.
“I was really pleased with the way we started the game,” Rice head coach Tina Langley said. “Team-wise we really locked in on their guards and contested shots and wanted to be sure they didn’t get hot from three like they had done against DePaul. The difficult thing for us is sometimes when the other team makes a run we question ourselves and develop a lack of confidence. At some point you just have to compete and it has to be about the game and how hard you’re willing to fight for each possession and we’re still learning that.”
Loyola was led in scoring by Taylor Manuel (15 points) and received a 12-point performance from Taylor Johnson. The Ramblers bench outscored Rice’s 19-8 and had a 24-18 advantage in points in the paint.
Rice took the opening quarter 13-12 by limiting the Ramblers to just 27 percent shooting in the opening 10 minutes. Maya Hawkins, Wendy Knight and Lauren Grigsby all connected on three-pointers in the quarter as part of a 6-for-12 effort from beyond the arc in the first half.
Loyola got things going offensively in the second quarter, outscoring the Owls 21-13 on 56 percent shooting. In the quarter Rice committed eight turnovers that resulted in 11 Ramblers’ points and a 33-26 halftime deficit.
The two teams played to an 11-11 third quarter before Loyola opened up a 45-37 advantage with 8:14 left in the fourth. Rice would rally behind a surge from Rainey to take a 47-46 lead with 4:45 remaining. Rainey scored eight points in the quarter alone, however Loyola would take the lead for good on a jumper from Taylor with 2:34 to go to take a 50-48 lead.
The Owls will look to get back in the win column on New Year’s Day when they host UTEP at 2 p.m.