No. 3 Texas Takes Down Owls, 77-54
Dec. 30, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas - The No. 3 nationally ranked Texas Longhorns women's basketball team lived up to their billing Tuesday evening, proving to be too much for the Rice Owls in a 77-54 triumph at the Fred Erwin Center.
Rice (5-6) was plagued by a rough-shooting first half in which they shot just 21 percent. The Owls played much better offensively in the second half and were outscored just 37-32.
The Owls were led by junior forward Alyssa Lang, who established a career-high with 17 points and fell just shy of a double-double with a team-best nine rebounds. Junior guard Breion Allen also had a strong game off the pine, tying her career-high with 12 points.
Texas (11-0) had three players score in double-figures, led by Nneka Enemkpali, who recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Empress Davenport (13 points) and Brooke McCarty (13 points) also scored in double-figures.
"Give Texas a lot of credit, they really had us back on our heels and took the game to us from the beginning," Rice head coach Greg Williams said. "I challenged our team at halftime to compete a little harder, which I think they did. Karen and her staff have done a great job. They're very talented."
Rice shot just 28 percent from the floor for the game but did make a season-high six three-pointers on 11 attempts. The Owls' bench was superb for a second straight game, outscoring Texas 43-36, the second-straight 40-point performance by the unit.
The Longhorns shot 48 percent from the field for the game and had a big advantage in points in the paint (48-16). Texas also outrebounded Rice 50-45, marking just the second time this season the Owls were outboarded.
The Owls got a big boost from their second unit in the opening half with 20 of their 22 points coming from the bench. Allen led the way with 10 first half points thanks in part to a perfect 3-for-3 shooting performance from three-point territory. Rice made four of their eight attempts from downtown in the first 20 minutes, with the other trifecta coming from freshman post Courtney Brown.
Rice shot just 21 percent (7-of-33) in the first half and committed 11 turnovers that resulted in 13 Longhorn points. On the flipside, Texas shot 47 percent from the field and dominated points in the paint (28-4). Enemkpali joined Allen as the first half leading scorer with 10 points while also collecting 13 rebounds.
The Owls will now turn their attention to Conference USA play beginning this Friday when they travel to San Antonio to face the Roadrunners at 7 p.m., followed by a Sunday afternoon tilt at UTEP.