Everything is going the right way for Rice women’s basketball in 2019 as the Owls enter the heart of their Conference USA schedule.
Rice women’s basketball dropped their first two games of the season. They’ve since won 13 of their next 14 games, thoroughly outclassing their Conference USA opponents. Rice sits at 13-3 with a perfect 4-0 record in conference play, 16 games into their 28 game regular season schedule.
It’s been a team effort the whole way. As good as Rice has been with the ball in their hands, their defense has been even better. Rice ranks second in scoring defense allowing a meager 48.2 points per game in their conference games to date. They allow the second-fewest rebounds per game and own the third-best assist to turnover ratio. The Owls’ opponents aren’t getting good shots and when they miss they’re not getting many extra chances.
Scoring leader Erica Ogwumike continues to be the consistent spark who moves the offense along, but she’s had plenty of help. Nancy Mulkey is converting on 61.7 percent of her field goals and Jasmine Smith is fourth in CUSA with 20 assists in conference play.
Meanwhile, Nicole Iademarco has secured her space in the Rice record books. Iademarco broke the Rice women’s basketball three-point scoring record against UTSA, passing former teammate Maya Hawkins. The senior tacked on a few more long balls against UTEP on Saturday. She’s now drained 170 three-point shots with plenty of time to add to her own record before the season is through.
- W, 58-47 at Southern Miss
- W, 61-51 at Louisiana Tech
- W, 85-54 vs UTSA
- W, 76-42 vs UTEP
The end of January sets up to be extremely important for Rice. The Owls stand atop the Conference USA standings but will play three of the next four (North Texas, Middle Tennessee, UAB) before the end of the month. Wins in those games, plus another against Western Kentucky in mid-February could cement this team as clear front-runners going into the conference tournament.