Rice Women’s Basketball utilized a barrage of three-point shots to post a dominant victory over UTSA in their final game of the regular season.
From the moment Maya Bokunewicz opened the scoring with a three-pointer it was abundantly clear Rice women’s basketball has not come down from their recent run from elevated play. Winners of five of their last six, the Owls came out firing in their season final against UTSA and showed continued composure when the Roadrunners were able to tie the game midway through the first quarter.
Rice wouldn’t run away with this game as they had in their previous outing against UTEP, but even when UTSA was able to trim the Owls’ margin, the Roadrunners never once took the lead. UTSA’s longest run of the first half was a 6-0 spurt which enabled them to tie the game. Every other burst was no better than a minor 3-0 streak in favor of the visitors.
Last Time Out: Rice Women’s Basketball blasts UTEP in runaway win
Rice women’s basketball would break things wide open to start the second half. The Owls’ first five shots of the quarter were three-pointers. Four of them hit home, catapulting the home team to a commanding 19-point advantage. From that point on, Rice could have just played out the string. Instead, they poured it on.
The sizable lead grew even larger until the Owls’ advantage nearly doubled up the Roadrunners. The advantage grew to be as large as 39-points, further reinforcing Rice was playing their best basketball of the season on the cusp of postseason play.
Player Spotlight | Ashlee Austin
Winning games with a “team effort” might be a cliche as old as the sport itself, but it frequently rings true with Rice women’s basketball. The Owls spread out their scoring as they typically do, but it’s hard to ignore the consistent production of Ashlee Austin, no matter how effective her teammates have been. Saturday’s win over UTSA marked her tenth consecutive outing of double-digit points and her seventh 20+ point game. She finished with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Stat Corner | Going deep
The three-point shot has been part of the Owls’ offensive attack this season, although to a lesser degree than the Rice men. On Saturday, the women lit up the scoreboard with some long-distance shots of their own. Rice women’s basketball hit 14 three-pointers, crushing their previous season-high (10 at Middle Tennessee, Jan. 7.).
Bokunewicz led the charge, converting seven of the Owls’ 14 triples on her own, tying a school record.
Final Box | Rice 86 – UTSA 48
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) March 5, 2022
Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice women’s basketball clinched a first-round bye in the Conference USA Tournament with their win over UTEP on Thursday. As Saturday’s games wrap up they’ll have a better understanding of where they’ll fall in the final seeding. Regardless, their first game of the Conference USA Tournament will be played on Wednesday, March 9.
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