Rice Women’s Basketball was lights out down the stretch, closing out their home tilt with FIU to secure their first 2-0 weekend in league play.
The first points of the afternoon went to FIU, but Rice women’s basketball followed up a pair of their opponents’ free throws with a 14-5 run, starting strong in their effort to secure their first 2-0 weekend in conference play this season.
The Owls the Panthers to 12.5 percent shooting in the first quarter but it wouldn’t come that easy. FIU punched back in the second frame, outscoring Rice 21-11. Rice led by as many as five points in the final two minutes before FIU closed the quarter on an 8-0 run including a three-point heave at the buzzer to break a 25-25 tie.
Last Time Out: Rice Women’s Basketball edges UAB at home
The three-point shot would continue to play an important role in the game moving forward. Both teams hit from long range on two of their first three baskets of the second half as the Owls worked to whittle down a Panthers’ lead that reached six points early in the third quarter.
The game would stay within reach for both sides until the midpoint of the fourth quarter when Rice slammed the door. A 9-0 Rice run — with seven of the nine points coming from the free-throw line — put the game out of reach. The Owls did not make a field goal in the final 3:37 but were still able to maintain a comfortable margin as they closed things out.
Player Spotlight | Malia Fisher
Fisher was tremendous in the Owls’ defensive efforts down the stretch, securing 18 rebounds, the most in a game by any Conference USA player this season. She made 11-of-13 free throws, scoring 17 points. She also tied for the team lead in assists (four) and had the Owls’ only block of the game. A true freshman, Fisher’s ascent is only just beginning.
Stat Corner | Free throws = Free points
The free-throw line was where Rice women’s basketball won this game. Rice hit 31-of-36 attempts from the charity stripe, building their fourth quarter lead on foul shots and maintaining the differential with near-perfect accuracy from the line. The Owls made 20-of-22 free throws in the fourth quarter alone.
Final Box | Rice 73 – FIU 67
FINAL | @RiceWBB 73 – FIU 67
The Owls earn their first 2-0 weekend of conference play. pic.twitter.com/vSXwVd00QX
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) February 19, 2022
Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice women’s basketball will have a quick turnaround. The Owls start a three-game road trip on Monday when they travel to Birmingham to play UAB for the second time in five days. From there, they’ll finish out the trip the following weekend with games at Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Feb. 24 and Southern Miss on Saturday, Feb. 26.
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