It was another impressive weekend on the court for Rice women’s basketball. The Owls are closing in on their first national ranking.
Rice women’s basketball bludgeoned another pair of conference opponents this week, blasting FIU by 32 points on Thursday before crushing FAU by 28 points on Saturday. For the better part of two months, no one has been able to crack the Owls’ physical defense which has allowed one opponent to surpass 51 points this calendar year.
The two wins boost the Owls’ record to 22-3 (13-0 CUSA) with three regular season games remaining. At this point finishing up the schedule has become somewhat of a formality as the team readies itself for the conference tournament and hopefully an NCAA Tournament berth.
Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 is at the forefront of the team’s mind, but it’s not the only piece of history at stake for this squad. Winners of 15 straight, Rice is seeking their first appearance in the AP Top 25. The Owls stack up favorably against those ranked just above them.
Here’s how the lower portion of the top 25 faired this week:
No. 21 FSU (1-1) – Clemson (L), Pitt (W)
No. 22 Texas A&M (1-1) – LSU (W), Mississippi State (L)
No. 23 Rutgers (0-1) – Ohio State (L)
No. 24 Michigan State (0-2) – Wisconsin (L), Nebraska (L)
No. 25 South Dakota (1-0) – Western Illinois (W)
Also receiving votes
Rice (2-0) – FIU (W), FAU (W)
Utah (0-2) – Arizona (L), Arizona State (L)
UCF (0-2) – Tulane (L), UConn (L)
Drake (1-0) – Northern Iowa (W)
UCLA (0-1) – Stanford (L)
Rice is the only one of that selection of unranked teams to finish a perfect 2-0 this week. Each of those five ranked teams above the Owls lost at least once. Rutgers is on a three game losing streak and South Dakota’s overall record, 23-3, is almost identical to the Owls.
This team has been dominant. It’s time the pollsters give Rice some well-deserved recognition.