Rice at Southern Miss (Game 26 Notes)
Rice Owls (16-9, 7-7) at Southern Miss Lady Eagles (18-9, 10-5)
Game 26 • Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 • 6 p.m. (CT)
Hattiesburg, MS • Reed Green Coliseum (8,095)
Video Stream: CUSAtv ($)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter Updates: @RiceWBasketball
Series Record: USM leads, 11-5
Red-hot Owls travel to Southern Miss
The Rice Owls women’s basketball team will look for their fifth consecutive victory on Thursday when they travel to Hattiesburg to face Southern Miss at 6 p.m. The Owls last won four consecutive C-USA contests during the 2010-11 campaign. A fifth straight win on Thursday would mark the first time Rice won five straight during C-USA play since the 2005-06 season when the Owls reeled off nine consecutive conference wins. The Owls defeated Southern Miss 76-68 earlier this season on Jan. 21 but trail the all-time series, 11-5. Rice shot 56 percent from the floor in the first meeting and 53 percent from beyond the arc. The Lady Eagles are currently tied for third place in the C-USA standings while Rice sits in eighth.
Last Time Out
Maya Hawkins scored a season-high 25 points and Nicole Iademarco added a career-high 23 points to help lead the Owls to an 80-76 victory at UTEP last Saturday afternoon. Rice clinched a berth to the C-USA Championships with the win. In a contest that saw 14 lead changes, Rice made a season-high 27 free throws and outshot UTEP from the field, 45 percent-38 percent. After trailing for most of the game, UTEP took a brief 58-56 lead with 6:49 left to go in the fourth quarter. From that point on Hawkins scored 13 of her 25 points, knocking down all eight of her free throw attempts along with a made three-pointer.
Southern Miss Scouting Report
The Lady Eagles enter play on Thursday having won four straight and seven of their last contests overall. Southern Miss has won 10 consecutive home games for the fourth time in as many years. During C-USA play, senior guard Brittany Dinkins leads USM in scoring (20.3 ppg) and is ranked sixth in the nation (first in C-USA) in steals per game (3.4 spg). The Lady Eagles have scored 70 or more points in all four of their previous wins.
Iademarco Tabbed College Sports Madness Player of the Week
Rice redshirt sophomore guard Nicole Iademarco was named the College Sports Madness Conference USA Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 13-19. Iademarco helped guide the Owls to a second straight 2-0 weekend by averaging a team-best 19.5 ppg. In Rice’s 66-61 win at UTSA on Feb. 16 the redshirt sophomore from The Woodlands, Texas, helped spark a 14-point comeback by scoring all 16 of her points in the second half. Then on Saturday she played 39 minutes, scoring a career-high 23 points on 7-of-17 shooting at UTEP.
From Way Downtown
The Owls have already made 178 three-pointers this season, a new single-season school record. . Rice has made at least 10 three-pointers in a game six times and made at least seven three-pointers 14 times and four straight games overall.
As far as trends go, when the Owls outrebound their opponent and take a halftime lead they are nearly unstoppable. Rice is 12-2 when they collect more rebounds and 14-2 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 a 12-1 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 sixth in C-USA in assists per game (5.0) while also posting the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0). During C-USA play, Hawkins has the fourth-best three-point field goal percentage (.394), knocking down 28 of 71 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 (145 career made three-pointers) is just two, three-point makes away from moving into second place in school history. She also ranks eight in Rice history with 366 career assists.
Rice continues their road trip this Saturday when they travel to Louisiana Tech on Saturday. The following week the Owls return to Houston for their final two games of the regular season (Marshall/WKU).