Rice women’s basketball clinched the 2020 Conference USA Regular Season Title with a thrilling win over Old Dominion at Tudor Fieldhouse.
In a game that had all the makings of an instant classic, Rice women’s basketball emerged with a conference title-clinching victory. Neither team ever held a lead greater than eight points in a contest with 18 lead changes that came down to the final seconds.
Both teams came out firing. Rice shot 53.6 percent from the field in the first half, but only found themselves up by four points at the break. That was due, in large part, to an incredible game from Old Dominion’s Victoria Morris. The junior finished with a season-high 29 points, 12 of which came before halftime.
The big game by Morris was countered by one of the Owls’ most complete team showings of the season. Senior guard Erica Ogwumike battled foul trouble but still finished with an impactful 20 points and five rebounds in her final game at Tudor Fieldhouse. She was one of five Owls that finished in double figure points.
Rice got key contributions from their bench, something they lacked in their loss to Old Dominion earlier in the season. That included a season-high 11 points from Katelyn Crosthwait off the bench and important minutes from Destiny Jackson as well.
Once their 30-game conference winning streak was over, Rice seemed vulnerable in C-USA for the first time in two years. Beating Old Dominion gave Rice a win over every C-USA team this season. In a sense, it restored some of the Owls’ swagger.
Rice had already secured at least a share of the title with their win over UTEP on Thursday. Saturday’s triumph put the Owls’ alone atop C-USA. More importantly, it locked up the No. 1 overall seed for Rice in the Conference USA Basketball Tournament, set to begin on Wednesday, March 11.