Rice women’s basketball blew past California Baptist on Monday night, punching their ticket to the 2021 WNIT Final Four.
Any of the early rust Rice women’s basketball exhibited in their opening round WNIT matchup against Arizona State is so far in the rearview mirror it can no longer be seen. The Owls traded their offensive woes for hot hands on Monday night, coming out with a purpose against California Baptist.
With a trip to the WNIT Final Four on the line, Rice shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half and made CBU pay for a rash of early turnovers. Their foot never came off the gas. They outscored CBU 26-12 in the third quarter. Stretching an 11-point halftime lead into a 25-point advantage entering the fourth quarter.
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Everything went right for Rice in the landslide victory. Nancy Mulkey had 16 points and eight rebounds. Katelyn Crosthwait and Jasmine Smith finished with double-digit points. Destiny Jackson was the only Rice player that did not score. When things are working that well, 34-point victories tend to follow.
Player of the Game – Lauren Schwartz
On a night when every shot was falling, Schwartz seemed even more lethal than most. Not only did she lead all scorers with 20 points, she made a stunning 9-of-11 shots from the field. Only six of those points came from three, underscoring how involved she was in every piece of the Owls’ offensive attack. Schwartz also added six rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block.
Rice women’s basketball is now two wins away from cutting down the nets in Memphis. The victory over California Baptist earned the Owls a spot in the WNIT Final Four. They’ll face Delaware, who took down Vilanova earlier on Monday night to advance. Tip time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m on Friday, March 26.