By: Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON – The defending Women’s Basketball Invitational champion Rice Owls released their 2017-18 schedule today, a slate that begins on Nov. 10 and includes 13 home contests.
Rice will open the season on the road for a pair of contests in the state of Arizona, beginning first at Grand Canyon on Nov. 10, followed by the first-ever meeting with Northern Arizona on Nov. 12. The Owls then return to Houston for their home opener against crosstown foe Houston Baptist on Nov. 18, before traveling to Sam Houston St. on Nov. 21.
Following Thanksgiving, Rice welcomes in Little Rock to Tudor Fieldhouse on Nov. 24, a team that won 25 games in 2016-17 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. The Owls then travel to Lawrence, Kansas on Nov. 26 to face the Jayhawks for the first time in historic Allen Fieldhouse.
Rice closes out a stretch of five of seven games on the road on Nov. 29 at Texas A&M when the Owls face an Aggies team that won 22 games last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Owls begin December with a pair of non-conference home games, starting with Incarnate Word on Dec. 9, followed by ULM on Dec. 14. Rice will close out its non-conference road slate on Dec. 18 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Dec. 21 at Prairie View A&M.
The Owls conclude their non-conference season on Dec. 30 when they host Ivy League member Columbia for the first time since 1993.
Rice opens its conference schedule on the road for the first time since 2014 on Jan. 5 when they travel to Denton to face the Mean Green, which begins a stretch of four of five games on the road. After the Owls host UTSA on Jan. 7 in the conference home opener, Rice plays three straight road contests at Florida Atlantic (Jan. 11), FIU (Jan. 13) and Charlotte (Jan. 20).
The Owls then open a three-game homestand versus UTEP (Jan. 26), Old Dominion (Jan. 28) and Southern Miss (Feb. 1). Rice travels to Louisiana Tech on Feb. 7 for the first of two meetings this season with the Lady Techsters before returning home to host the reigning C-USA champion WKU Lady Toppers on Feb. 10.
Rice begins a stretch of three of four on the road on Feb. 15 when they travel to UAB, followed by a rematch of last year’s C-USA second round meeting at Middle Tennessee on Feb. 17. The Owls return home to face Marshall on Feb. 22, followed by their second meeting of the season with UTSA on Feb. 25 in San Antonio.
Rice will close the conference slate with a pair of home games, starting with Louisiana Tech on Mar. 1, after which they’ll host North Texas for Senior Day on Mar. 3.
The C-USA Tournament will be held Mar. 7-10 at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco where North Texas will host the tournament for the first time.
Season ticket renewals are scheduled to be sent out next week for season ticket members. For more information regarding tickets, call 713.348.6957 or visit riceowls.com/tickets.