Rice women’s basketball took care of business at home, downing FAU in runaway fashion at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Just past the midpoint of conference play, Rice women’s basketball needed to find a way to take care of home court against a 5-8 FAU squad on Thursday night. It was the road Owls who delivered the first blow, though, jumping out to an 8-0 run before Rice was able to find the scoreboard.
Rice battled back quickly, finishing the first quarter on a 22-6 run and held serve in the second frame, taking a two-point lead into the half. It was the third quarter when Rice made its’ move, slowly building up from a 36-36 tie to an 11-point lead as the fourth quarter began. Then the hometown team really started to pour it on.
The Owls emptied the benches, turning a modest double-digit lead into a 20-plus-point shellacking. 12 different Rice players saw action, including minutes for Haylee Swayzee, Ashlyn Zhang and Fatou Samb, the three of which had combined to play 88 total minutes this season. It was officially cleanup time in the most dominant conference win for Rice women’s basketball this season
“It was amazing, it was fun. It makes basketball fun when you get to see the people you’re with 24/7 go in the games and play,” forward India Bellamy said. “It was also relaxing not to be stressed out.”
Final Box | Rice 85 – FAU 64
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) February 10, 2023
Key takeaway | Starting lineup shakeup
Rice women’s basketball has largely maintained the same starting five throughout the season. Once Maya Bokunewicz went down in the second game of the season it’s been Ashlee Austin, Katelyn Crosthwait, Malia Fisher, Destiny Jackson and Trinity Gooden taking the court as the first five night in and night out. That’s not how the Owls lined up on Thursday night.
Crosthwait wasn’t in the starting lineup and entered the game in the second quarter. Austin did not play at all. When asked for clarification on those decisions, head coach Lindsay Edmonds called it a “family matter” that she wanted to keep inside the locker room.
“I said it was going to be about what people showed me in practice. That was where the mixups kinda came from,” Edmonds said, referring to a challenge she gave the team last week. She added Austin is not injured and her availability going forward would depend on “what’s shown on the court.”
Being without their leading scorer didn’t seem to phase the Owls on the court, though. Rice scored 85 points, their highest against a conference opponent this season, getting big contributions off the bench from India Belammay and Jazzy Owens-Barnett.
Up Next: vs FIU – Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1:00 p.m.
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