Rice 67-Columbia 44 (PDF Box Score)
HOUSTON – The Rice Owls women’s basketball team closed out the 2017 calendar with their fifth consecutive win and established a new school record with 10 non-conference victories, defeating Columbia 67-44 Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
“This team has been tremendous through the non-conference portion of our schedule,” Rice head coach Tina Langley said. “We’ve faced a lot of adversity and the way everyone has pulled together to do whatever the team needs has been really amazing to see. We’re excited to continue our progress moving into the conference season.”
Out to their best 12-game start since the 1981-82 season, the Owls (10-2) won on Saturday with a balanced scoring attack in which four players recorded 10 or more points. Redshirt sophomore guard Erica Ogwumike notched her second double-double in as many games and fourth overall this season with a game-high 16 points and a team season-high 19 rebounds in 31 minutes. The Cypress, Texas native grabbed the most rebounds by an Owl in a game since Jessica Kuster in the 2013-14 campaign.
Ogwumike contributed to a Rice team season-high 48 rebounds, 16 of which came on the offensive glass and led to a 20-2 advantage in second chance points.
Other Owls to score in double-figures were senior guard Wendy Knight (14 points), junior guard Lauren Grigsby (12 points) and junior guard Nicole Iademarco (10 points). Grigsby nearly recorded a double-double as well, grabbing eight rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Iademarco continued her streak of making at least one three-pointer in all 12 games this season, nailing the 100th trifecta of her career in the second quarter.
After outscoring the Lions (6-8) 17-16 in the opening quarter, Rice opened up the game with a 19-9 in the second period by shooting 53 percent from the field while limiting Columbia to 3-of-16 shooting. Rice went on a 12-0 run and took a 29-18 lead at the 5:28 mark following a layup from Knight.
In the third quarter, the Owls used a 16-4 run to extend their advantage to 20 points and never looked back.
Rice will next begin Conference USA play on Friday, Jan. 5 when they travel to Denton, Texas to face the Mean Green of North Texas, which will be televised on beIN Sports.