A record-setting outing by Nancy Mulkey was not enough to stave off upset-minded SMU who were able to hand Rice Women’s Basketball their first loss.
Nobody said it would be easy. After rolling through their first two opponents (Nicholls St and Little Rock), Rice Women’s Basketball hit the road to take on SMU. The Mustangs weren’t supposed to the big test — that was to come on Sunday against Texas A&M. But the Owls found out the hard way that every opponent they’ll face is going to be primed for an upset.
Rice started slowly, going 1-for-11 from the field with nine turnovers in the first quarter. Their ever-ready defense kept the Owls in the game, holding SMU to 10 points in the first frame. Then the Owls fired back, outscoring the home team 18-7 in the second quarter, including a 14-0 run to close out the half.
The two teams traded punches throughout the second half. Neither team had a great shooting day, with both teams finishing below 30 percent from the floor. SMU would make the ones that counted the most, including a pair of rim-rattling free throws to extend their lead to 50-43 with 43 seconds to play. The Owls had nothing left in the tank, falling on the road by a final score of 55-43.
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) November 14, 2019
Player of the Game
Nancy Mulkey put together a record-breaking performance in defeat. She single-game record with 11 blocks on her way to becoming the second Rice women’s basketball player to ever record a triple-double. In addition to the 11 blocks, Mulkey also tallied 11 rebounds and 15 points.
In addition to setting the Rice single-game blocks record, Nancy Mulkey has just become the 2nd Owl to ever record a triple double (13 pts/10 reb/11 blk)! @ncaawbb#GoOwls👐 x #GoTogether pic.twitter.com/FaqQ4bl4BK
— Rice Women’s Basketball (@RiceWBB) November 14, 2019
Mulkey and Ogwumike combined for 11 of the Owls’ 14 made baskets and 32 of the team’s 43 points. The supporting cast didn’t offer much support on a disappointing night for a program that had set much higher expectations for themselves than this.
The Owls don’t have any time to feel sorry for themselves. They’ve got plenty still to play for, including their biggest game of the year upcoming. On Sunday, they host No. 5 Texas A&M at Tudor Fieldhouse. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. A win in that game would quickly put this loss in the rearview mirror as they prepare for a full schedule ahead of them.