By: Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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HOUSTON - The Rice women's basketball team's season continues as it has accepted an invitation to play in the eighth annual Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI), the Owls first postseason appearance since 2012.
The Owls (18-13, 8-10) will host Lamar (22-7, 15-3) on Thursday, March 16 with game time set for 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse. Rice is 8-22 all-time against the Lady Cardinals and the two teams have not met since the 2014-15 season. If the Owls advance, they will host the winner of UTRGV/Stephen F. Austin this weekend with a date and time to be determined.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play in the postseason," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "It's an honor to be able to represent Rice on this stage and to be able to reward our team for all the hard work they've put into this season."
This will be the first postseason appearance for seniors Jasmine Goodwine, Maya Hawkins and Adaeze Obinnah and marks the second time the Owls have participated in the WBI, having last played in 2012 when they lost to Sam Houston St. in the opening round.
The WBI, operated by Sports Tours International, provides a choice for postseason worthy Division I Women's teams who wish to continue their season but didn't qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The 16-team event will take place over two weeks (March 15-26) with all games being played on campus sites. Louisiana-Lafayette is the back-to-back (2015/2016 defending WBI champions.
Under Langley this season, the Owls have recorded their most victories since the 2010-11 campaign and advanced to the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship for a second straight season.
Thursday's game will be streamed on CUSAtv. Tickets for Thursday's game will be available by calling 713-348-OWLS (6957) or by visiting https://oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/rice/EN/buy/details/17WBWBI1.
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