It wasn’t quite wire-to-wire, but Rice women’s basketball started fast and maintained a comfortable lead in their road win over Saint Mary’s.
Despite the late tip-off, 10:oo p.m. Houston time, Rice women’s basketball showed up ready to play in Califonia against Saint Marys. The Gael’s won the 2022 WBI Tournament and were picked to finish fifth in the West Coast Conference this season. Rice was undeterred.
The Owls jumped out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter, holding Saint Mary’s to 29.4 percent shooting from the field. Shelby Hayes created a mismatch in the interior, scoring eight points in the opening frame. When the defense collapsed to account for her, it opened up shooting lanes for Ashlee Austin and Kaitlyn Crostwait from deep.
More: Rice Women’s Basketball Season Preview
The lead quickly grew to double-digits, as Rice mixed in contributions from a host of different contributors. The Owls got points from nine different players in the first half alone, seeing their advantage grow to as many as 17 points.
The third quarter was more contentious. Saint Mary’s continued to chip away, taking the Rice lead down from double digits to as few as five points. Fortunately for the Owls, every time the Gaels went on a run, they had an answer. The five-point lead ballooned back to 15 early in the fourth quarter. Rice would knock down their free throws to ice the road win.
Player Spotlight | Kaitlyn Crosthwait
On a night when so many different players contributed in big moments, Crosthwait seemed to find herself involved in a good portion of them. She scored 11 points, knocking down three of the Owls’ five three-pointers. She also had six rebounds, playing a team-high 30 minutes.
Rice was able to get so many players into the game on Wednesday night, but that sort of widespread rotation is possible because the team has veteran players that can help direct traffic no matter who is on the court. Crosthwait’s play and direction made a difference in this one.
Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice women’s basketball continues its four-game road trip in the coming days. They’ll take on Pacific on Friday before returning to Texas to play Texas Southern (Wed. Nov. 23) and Texas A&M (Sun. Nov. 27) before their next home game at the beginning of December against TCU.
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