Owls Four-Game Road Trip Begins Thursday at UTSA

Feb. 15, 2017

Game 24 Notes (at UTSA)

Rice Owls (14-9, 5-7) at UTSA Roadrunners (11-12, 7-5)
Game 24 • Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 • 7 p.m. (CT)
San Antonio, Texas • Convocation Center (2,650)
Video Stream: CUSAtv ($)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter Updates: @RiceWBasketball
Series Record: Rice leads, 11-4

Owls Begin Road Stretch at UTSA
After winning three of their last four contests, the surging Owls embark on a four-game road trip that begins on Thursday (7 p.m.) at UTSA. Rice is 6-5 on the road this season and one more victory away from Tudor Fieldhouse would give the Owls their most road victories since the 2010-11 campaign (9). The Roadrunners are coming off a pair of losses and have dropped four of six overall. Entering Thursday the Roadrunners are seventh in the C-USA standings while the Owls have climbed up to ninth. Rice leads the all-time series over UTSA, 11-4.

Last Time Out
The Owls led from start to finish in an impressive 89-55 win over the Florida Atlantic Owls last Saturday at Tudor Fieldhouse, the team’s largest margin of victory in a Conference USA contest since 2007. Rice’s 89 points were a season-high during league play and the Owls placed five players in double-figure scoring, led by a game-high 18 points from sophomore Nicole Iademarco. The Owls set a C-USA season-high with 25 team assists, led by a season-high tying nine helpers from senior Maya Hawkins. Rice outshot FAU 52 percent-33 percent and shot a stellar 89 percent (17-of-19) at the free throw line.

UTSA Scouting Report
The Roadrunners are led offensively by junior guard Loryn Goodwin (17.8 ppg) and senior center Tesha Smith (14.8 ppg), both of whom rank top 10 in C-USA in scoring. Goodwin leads all players in C-USA in total free throws attempted (189) and ranks second in the league in steals (69) and steals per game (3.0). The Roadrunners also commit the third-fewest turnovers (14.9) in the league.

Ozoude Named C-USA Freshman of the Week
Rice freshman center Gabby Ozoude was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Monday. Ozoude, from Bellbrook, OH, had a breakout weekend for the Owls with averages of 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in 22 minutes per game off the bench to help lead Rice to a pair of victories. Ozoude capped off the weekend by recording her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in Rice’s 89-55 win over Florida Atlantic, both of which were career-highs. For the week she made 9-of-19 shots from the field and picked up a block in each contest. Ozoude became the 10th Owl in school history to be named C-USA Freshman of the Week and the first since Shani Rainey in 2015.

From Way Downtown
The Owls have already made 164 three-pointers this season, matching all of last year. Rice is closing in on the single-season school record of 170 three-point makes in 2010-11. The Owls have made at least 10 three-pointers in a game six times.

Winning Formulas
As far as trends go, when the Owls outrebound their opponent and take a halftime lead they are nearly unstoppable. Rice is 11-2 when they collect more rebounds and 13-2 when they hold a halftime advantage on the scoreboard. In addition, when the Owls lead by double-digits at any point they’re 13-1 and when they hold their opponents below 60 points they’re 12-1. Rice is nearly flawless in the win column when they get point contributions from they’re bench, claiming an 11-1 record when they outscore their opponents.

Hawkins Leading the Way
Senior point guard Maya Hawkins has been an instrumental part of the Owls’ success this season. The Mansfield, Texas native ranks third in C-USA in assists per game (5.2) while also posting the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9). During C-USA play, Hawkins has the second-best three-point field goal percentage (.404), knocking down 23 of 57 attempts from beyond the arc. This season Hawkins became the only player in Rice history to amass 100+ career made three-pointers and 300+ career assists. Hawkins (140 career made three-pointers) is just three, three-point makes away from moving into third place in school history.

What’s Next
Rice continues their road trip this Saturday when they travel west to El Paso to take on the UTEP Miners. The Owls will then travel to Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech next Thursday/Saturday.






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