Rice women’s basketball never trailed at home against North Texas, but still found themselves in a dogfight to the very end, holding on for the win.
Stifling defense was the theme early on in a Thursday night tilt between Rice women’s basketball and the North Texas Mean Green. The Owls held the visitors to one field goal before the opening media timeout and just 11 points in the first quarter. After struggling to get that aspect of their game going in recent weeks, they leaned on that end of the court heavily as their own shooting took some time to get in gear.
The shots started to fall in earnest in the second quarter. Rice shot 63.6 percent from the floor in the period and extended their lead to 13 points at the break.
While Rice controlled the game throughout the second half, the margins got too close for comfort on a few occasions. The Owls had themselves to blame for much of it, turning the ball over and wasting possessions. The rhythm they seemed to have on that side of the court in the first half seemed to take a lull in the third quarter allowing North Texas tied the game, but they were never able to take the lead.
After holding North Texas to 25 points combined in the first and second quarters, the Mean Green took over with 49 second points. Rice answered with a balanced attack, punctuated by a trio of three pointers from Dominque Ennis off the bench. The lead never again reached double digits, but the Owls were finally able to get some breathing room late and hold on for their third consecutive victory.
Spotlight | India Bellamy
Head coach Lindsay Edmonds is quick to compliment the depth of the roster this season whenever given the chance. Her memories of a thin bench in her inagular season are completely foreign to the myriad of options this team has at its disposal.
“If we have four or five in double digits, I feel really good about our chances,” she said tonight, following a game in which five Owls reached double digits. Many were the usual suspects: Ashlee Austin, Malia Fisher. One was India Bellamy, who delivered 12 points and two critical steals. Only Austin made more field goals (seven) than Bellamy (six).
“India coming off the bench that’s also scoring the ball really well,” Edmonds said. “Everybody stepping up at different times is what makes us so good.” That certainly was the right recipe on Thursday night.
Final Box | Rice 81 – North Texas 74
FINAL | @RiceWBB 81 – NT 74
Owls have won three in a row. pic.twitter.com/1r3QfA6KtJ
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) January 20, 2023
Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice women’s basketball hits the road for a quick two-game trip to the east, starting with a Thursday evening game against Charlotte on Jan. 26 at 5:00 p.m. CT. They’ll stop at Birmingham on the way back to Texas on Saturday to play UAB. That’s a 1:00 p.m. CT tip.
Subscribe on Patreon for exclusive Rice football recruiting updates, practice notes and more.