In a rematch of last season’s Conference USA Championship Game, Rice women’s basketball beat Middle Tennessee with relative ease.
For the 30th time in as many tries, Rice women’s basketball won a conference game. The Owls’ most recent victory, a 77-60 win over Middle Tennessee at Tudor Fieldhouse on Saturday served as the most recent reminder of this team’s dominance.
Rice had dispatched of every C-USA opponent they’d faced this season, but they had yet to play either Old Dominion or Middle Tennessee, the two programs still in striking distance of the Owls’ in the conference standings. Facing their toughest test of the season, Rice verified their supremacy with their trademark level of suffocating defensive intensity.
Middle Tennessee made two of their first 15 shots and nine of their first 32. The Lady Raiders entered with a 40% shooting percentage on the season. Rice held them to 33.8% shooting while knocking down 47.3% of their own shots.
Winning conference games is hard. Rice women’s basketball has made it seem easy. And beating one of the conference’s better teams by nearly 20 points only underscores the expectations the Owls are putting on themselves. Perfection isn’t the goal — the NCAA Tournament is — but the more Rice wins the closer they get to achieving that greater aspiration.
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) February 9, 2020
Player of the Game – Erica Ogwumike
The impressiveness of Rice women’s basketball leading scorer Erica Ogwumike continues to be understated. On Saturday she tallied a double-double at halftime. That would have been her 10th consecutive double-double had she not been subbed out with nine rebounds when Rice had a commanding lead over UAB their last time out.
Ogwumike finished with ## points and ## rebounds. Her presence on the court gives Rice a chance to win every possession, something few teams in college basketball can say of any one individual.
Rice women’s basketball will hit the road for their next two contests. On Thursday, Feb. 13 they’ll face Old Dominion in arguably their most important C-USA game of the season to this point. That game is scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday they’ll head to Charlotte for a 3:00 p.m. game. Both are scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN+.