Nothing could stop a Rice women’s basketball program on a mission. The Owls cruised past Delaware, punching their ticket to the 2021 WNIT Championship Game.
Early in the first quarter, Rice women’s basketball was deadlocked at 12 points apiece with WNIT semi-final foe Delaware. Then the Owls, who were already shooting at a blistering pace, cranked up the intensity to another level.
Rice reeled off a 12-2 run, seven of those points coming from Sydne Wiggins, and ended the first quarter with a 10-point lead. The second quarter was all Owls. Rice extended their advantage to 18-points. This time it was Catelyn Crosthwait who led the charge. The sophomore guard scored seven of the Owls’ 18 points in that frame, giving Rice ample breathing room at the break.
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By the midpoint of the third quarter, Rice was shooting 60 percent from the field. That pace would fade a bit down the stretch, but Delaware came nowhere near that efficiency. Jasmine Dickey led the Blue Hens with 25 points, but it took her 30 shots and nine free throw attempts to get there. Rice guard Lauren Schwartz tied Dickey in scoring but amassed her 25 points on just 12 shots and 10 free throw attempts.
Schwartz, Crosthwait and the remainder of the Owls were so efficient from the floor they didn’t require any points from center Nancy Mulkey. The senior center was held scoreless on three field goal attempts and Rice still managed to cruise to a double-digit victory. Mulkey did lead the team with 11 rebounds, three blocks and tied a career-high five assists.
Player of the Game – Katelyn Crosthwait
Crosthwait scored a career-high 20 points, contributing a team-best four three-pointers in the Owls’ semifinal victory. She was perfect from the foul line (4-of-4) and added five rebounds. Her scoring ability enabled the Owls to space the floor and open lanes for her teammates. Adding a three-point element to the Owls’ already efficient offense makes this a challenging team to beat.
Rice women’s basketball has punched their ticket to the WNIT Championship where they’ll face Ole Miss. The Rebels beat Northern Iowa in the semifinals on Friday night. Tip time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m on Sunday, March 28.
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