By Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
IRVING, Texas – For the first time in five seasons the Owls will open up Conference USA action at home, playing their first three league games at Tudor Fieldhouse beginning with UTEP on New Year’s Day.
C-USA released the 2016 conference schedule on Monday. The final version of the schedule and the assignment of game times is pending review by the conference’s broadcast partners.
After a Jan. 3 home contest against UTSA, Rice will have the first of two open dates on Thursday, Jan. 7. The Owls return to the hardwood to host North Texas that Saturday, Jan. 9.
Rice will face the defending C-USA champion WKU Lady Toppers on Thursday, Jan. 14 in the team’s first visit to Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Owls close out January with a road game at Marshall (Jan. 16), followed by home contests versus UAB (Jan. 21) and Middle Tennessee (Jan. 23). Following their second open date on Jan. 28, the Owls’ final game of the month will come at North Texas (Jan. 30).
The Owls’ road trip continues during the first week of February to Louisiana Tech (Feb. 4) and Southern Miss (Feb. 6) before finally returning to Tudor Fieldhouse to host Charlotte (Feb. 11) and Old Dominion (Feb. 13).
Rice plays four of their final six league games on the road, beginning with a trip to Florida to face FAU (Feb. 18) and FIU (Feb. 20). After a pair of home games, including Senior Day on Feb. 27 versus Louisiana Tech, the Owls will close the regular season with road contests at Charlotte (March 3) and Old Dominion (March 5).
The C-USA Championships will be held once again in Birmingham, Ala., hosted by UAB March 8-12.
Rice’s non-conference schedule will be released in the near future.
2016 RICE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CONFERENCE USA SCHEDULE
Friday, Jan. 1 UTEP
Sunday, Jan. 3 UTSA
Thursday, Jan. 7 OPEN
Saturday, Jan. 9 North Texas
Thursday, Jan. 14 at WKU
Saturday, Jan. 16 at Marshall
Thursday, Jan. 21 UAB
Saturday, Jan. 23 Middle Tennessee
Thursday, Jan. 28 OPEN
Saturday, Jan. 30 at North Texas
Thursday, Feb. 4 at Louisiana Tech
Saturday, Feb. 6 at Southern Miss
Thursday, Feb. 11 Charlotte
Saturday, Feb. 13 Old Dominion
Thursday, Feb. 18 at Florida Atlantic
Saturday, Feb. 20 at FIU
Thursday, Feb. 25 Southern Miss
Saturday, Feb. 27 Louisiana Tech
Thursday, March 3 at Charlotte
Saturday, March 5 at Old Dominion
March 8-12 C-USA Basketball Championship (Birmingham, AL)