Rice Women’s Basketball seems to have returned to form, coasting through another Conference USA win, besting FIU on the road.
When Rice women’s basketball blew out Marshall to start conference play, I asked the simple question: has Rice flipped the switch? Since then, Rice is 3-0 with victories by 8, 9 and now 21 points. Even in the closer games, the Owls had the game in the bag by the midpoint of the fourth quarter.
That was the case again on Saturday. FIU and Rice traded baskets in the first half with both teams shooting well from the floor. Then the third quarter came and Rice did what they do best, buckled down on defense and kept FIU off the board. The Panthers scored six points in the first quarter, limited to 11.8 percent shooting on 19 possessions. The Owls scored 23 points in the third to take a commanding lead, riding it to their 23rd consecutive C-USA win.
The win would have been a non-event had it not been for an injury in the third quarter to guard Erica Ogwumike. While handling the ball at the top of the key, she went down after some contact as she tried to penetrate into the paint. She was helped off the court and sat on the bench for a minute before being moved to the locker room.
Ogwumike was the preseason Conference USA player of the year and the team’s leading scorer. Her status moving forward will be closely monitored. Losing her for any length of time would be a huge blow to this team.
FINAL | Rice 68 – FIU 47 pic.twitter.com/Zi0PbXfNqT
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) January 11, 2020
Player of the game – Jasmine Smith
A quiet star for Rice women’s basketball, Jasmine Smith continues to be incredibly consistent. In addition to scoring a team-high 12 points, she was crucial to the Owls’ success on both sides of the court. Her lock-down defense and team-leading six assists kept the team on schedule. Regardless of who else is on the court with her, Smith gives the same relentless effort.
Rice went 2-0 on their road trip to Florida. Next, they return home for a two-game stretch at Tudor Fieldhouse. They’ll take on Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7:00 p.m. Saturday they host Southern Miss with tip-off scheduled for 2:00 p.m.