Rice women’s basketball edged out crosstown rival Houston in a double-overtime thriller, moving to 8-0 on the season and 4-0 at home.
After victories over TCU and Texas A&M, Rice women’s basketball entered Saturday’s contest against Houston with eyes on a non-conference Lone Star sweep. It wouldn’t be easy, but the Owls would eventually prevail, taking down Houston in double overtime.
Rice would be tested from the start. Hoston scored first and opened up a seven-point lead in the first five minutes of play. Both teams would exchange baskets through the remainder of the first quarter as the Owls cut their deficit down to one point near the beginning of the second frame. That was when Houston made their run.
The Cougars went on a 9-0 sprint, opening up a 10-point lead, the largest by either team in the game. Rice went into halftime trailing by double-digits and in need of a spark to maintain their perfect record.
That second-half spark came in the form of Destiny Jackson. The senior guard exploded down the stretch, scoring 12 points in the third and fourth quarters. She knocked each of her four shots from the field in that time and was perfect on four free throw attempts.
Rice trimmed their 10-point deficit down to two in the third quarter and took the lead for the very first time with 5:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Owls would have a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but a Malia Fisher runner in the lane bounced off the irons and the game went to overtime.
Emotions were rampant in the extra minutes. Rice had three players foul out (Malia Fisher, Katelyn Crosthwait and Trinity Gooden). Houston lost two to fouls (Tatyana Hill and Kamryn Jones). All that would matter though, was how the team finished on the court.
An Austin three-pointer followed by a pair of free throws from Jackson gave Rice an 8-point lead in the second overtime. That proved to be a large enough advantage as Rice thwarted one final attempt at the buzzer to secure the win, the first overtime victory of head coach Lindsay Edmon’s career.
“Every win is a great win. Overtime wins are great because that gives you the confidence that, if we’re in this position again, we can say, ‘hey we’ve done this before,” Edmonds said. “Every win is a great man. I’m really excited about us protecting home court again and just taking care of business.”
Spotlight | Destiny Jackson
Jackson scored a season-high 33 points on Saturday, leading all scorers in the game. Through much of the game, it felt like she couldn’t miss, converting on 12-of-14 shots, her highest shooting percentage in a game in which she took more than two shots this season.
“Her teammates believe in her. I believe in her and she believes in herself. And I think that is just an unbelievable thing to have. As a point guard at her size, her ability to score the basketball but also find her teammates when she needs to. I thought she did a tremendous job,” Edmonds said.
“She’s a really hard matchup at point guard and when she has her mindset that she can get to the rim, she can get to the rim as much as she wants.”
Regulation would have been enough to reach her season-best, but her contributions in overtime were massive. She also added seven rebounds and five assists, the latter of which led the team.
Final Box | Rice 91 – Houston 88 (2OT)
FINAL | @RiceWBB 91 – UH 88
Owls move to 8-0 with a double OT win. pic.twitter.com/92jmrOTyHz
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) December 10, 2022
Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice women’s basketball has a string of home games coming up that runs through the end of the year. They’ll host Sam Houston on Friday, Dec. 16 in their final non-conference game before entering conference play with games against Middle Tennessee (Tues, Dec. 20), Western Kentucky (Thur, Dec. 29), and UTEP (Sat, Dec. 31).
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