Rice women’s basketball wasn’t ready to go away from home, falling to UTSA in one of their final road games of the regular season.
It would have been hard to draw up a more crushing start for Rice women’s basketball than the first half they played against UTSA on Thursday night. The Owls fell behind 18-1, then 29-9, shooting worse than 10 percent from the floor through much of the first quarter and only truly finding their stroke midway through the second stanza.
A 10-2 Rice run to end the half averted total disaster and gave the Owls a chance to regroup and try again. UTSA would keep things within that range for most of the third quarter before Rice gave one final push in the fourth and final frame.
Rice would get within five on a jumper from Destiny Jackson, but that was the point when they ran out of game. The Owls made two shots from the field in the final seven minutes, falling to UTSA by a final score of 66 to 53.
Final Box | UTSA 66 – Rice 53
FINAL | UTSA 66 – @RiceWBB 53 pic.twitter.com/lNKiWKP8vA
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) February 17, 2023
Key takeaway | Austin essential in reemergence
Prior to Thursday night, Ashlee Austin hadn’t played in a basketball game since February 4. She’d been relegated to watching the past two contests by a coach’s decision. Rice won both games without her on the court, but it seemed improbable the Owls would rattle off an extended winning streak without the help of their leading scorer.
Austin came off the bench and led all Rice players in scoring with 14 points. She led all Rice players in rebounds with five and assists with three. Malia Fisher, a rock for this team since her arrival on campus, was limited to just five minutes. Someone else needed to step up. Austin did. It wasn’t enough tonight, but they’re going to need her down the stretch.
Up Next: at WKU – Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1:00 p.m.
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