Owls Battle Old Dominion Wednesday in C-USA Championships
March 10, 2015
No. 12 Rice Owls (9-20, 4-14 C-USA) vs. No. 5 Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (18-11, 11-7 C-USA)
Game 30 Wednesday, March 11, 2015 7:30 p.m. (CT)
Birmingham, Alabama Bartow Arena
TV/Internet:American Sports Network
Audio:Listen Live (Free)
Series Record:ODU leads, 3-0
Last Meeting:ODU won, 83-68 (Feb. 26, 2015)
Rainey Tabbed C-USA Freshman of the Week
Owls Earn C-USA Championship Berth
The Rice Owls claimed a spot in the C-USA Championships in dramatic fashion on the final day of the regular season by defeating UTEP 79-62 at Tudor Fieldhouse, then got the help they needed with UTSA defeating North Texas to give the Owls the tiebreaker over the Mean Green. Rice is 6-9 all-time at the C-USA Championship and have advanced to two C-USA title games. The Owls will be looking to snap a three-game losing skid at the tournament dating back to 2012. Rice and Old Dominion met twice during the regular season with the Lady Monarchs taking both contests by an average of 11 points.
Last Time Out
In the face of elimination, Rice senior post Christal Porter saved her best for last with career-highs of 30 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Owls to a 79-62 victory over UTEP on Senior Day in a must-win situation at Tudor Fieldhouse. Rice led from start to finish and had four players score in double-figures. Porter, who scored 18 first half points, made a career-high 13 field goals on 19 attempts (4-of-5 at free throw line) in 36 minutes. The 30 points were a season-high by any Rice player and the most since Jessica Kuster scored 30 at Colorado on Nov. 30, 2013.
ODU Scouting Report
The Lady Monarchs closed the regular season by winning four of their final five contest to secure the No. 5 seed. ODU is led by the C-USA Newcomer of the Year Jennie Simms, who was also named to the C-USA First Team. The West Virginia transfer is averaging 19.9 points during league play with 10 double-doubles. The Owls, particularly senior Nakachi Maduka, have played Simms tough in their previous two meetings this season. Simms is averaging just 13 points on 40 percent shooting (8-of-20) against Rice. The Lady Monarchs posted the number one defensive field goal percentage (.360) in C-USA and were second in rebounding margin (+4.3).
Porter Rewarded for Superb Senior Campaign
Senior post Christal Porter was selected to her first All-Conference USA Team, the league announced Sunday afternoon. The honor comes on the heels of a season-saving career game in which the Germantown, Tenn. native recorded career-highs in points (30) and rebounds (19), while helping the Owls advance to the C-USA Championship tournament with a 79-62 win over UTEP. Porter, who was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team last week, was tabbed to the All-Conference USA Second Team as voted on by the league's coaches and SID's. Porter enters play Wednesday ranked 8th in the nation (first in C-USA) in rebounding having bumped her average up to 11.8 rebounds per game.
Rainey Tabbed C-USA Freshman of the Week
Rice freshman guard Shani Rainey earned the Conference USA Freshman of the Week award, the league office announced on Monday. The Fairview, Texas native played a big role in helping the Owls earn the final berth in the 2015 C-USA Championship, scoring in double-figures in back-to-back contests. Rainey scored a career-high 22 points in the loss to UTSA last Thursday, making a season-best 9-of-10 at the free throw line. She followed up that performance by scoring 11 points off the bench in the Owls' season-saving 79-62 win over UTEP on Saturday. For the week Rainey averaged 16.5 points on 47 percent shooting from the field and made 80 percent of her free throw attempts.
Porter Moving Up the All-Time List
With her 341 rebounds this season, Christal Porter has the third-best, single-season rebounding mark in Rice history and is just one back of Lauren Neaves (344, 2005-06) for the second-best season. Porter has also moved into fourth place in school history in career rebounds with 942. Aside from being the only player in C-USA to average a double-double this season, senior Porter (11.4 points and 11.8 rebounds) has posted a career-high 13 double-doubles.