Rice women’s basketball recovered quickly from a Thursday night loss, racing past Western Kentucky to close out their road trip with a win.
More than once in the early goings of Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky, it felt like Rice women’s basketball was about to break away. The Owls amassed an early 19-point lead in the first quarter, but weren’t able to stretch their advantage beyond that and allowed the Hilltoppers to recover. That advantage became 11 in the second quarter, but the home team responded with a 10-0 run of their own to bring the game back within one.
Finally, in the third quarter, the dam broke. Western Kentucky was 1-of-14 from the field in the third quarter meanwhile Rice exploded with a 22-2 run to essentially put the game out of reach. Western Kentucky would get back within 17 at the end of the quarter and get as close as 12 in the fourth frame, but there was never any real threat as Rice held the line and walked out of Bowling Green with an important win.
Final Box | Rice 82 – WKU 64
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) February 18, 2023
Key takeaway | Have a ball, Bellamy
Rice women’s basketball hasn’t played a game at full strength since the first weekend of February. For two straight weekends, the Owls have been without the services of either Ashlee Austin or Malia Fisher, arguably their most differential players on the roster. They’re 3-1 in that span, thanks in large part to the efforts of India Bellamy.
In her first 16 games of the season, Bellamy averaged 8.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks per game, more than serviceable off the bench. But over the last four games, those averages have skyrocketed. Since February 9, Bellamay has been averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. She’s nearly doubled her averages across the board.
There’s no word yet on how long the team will be without Fisher on the court, but regardless of how long Fisher is out, Rice is going to need this version of Bellamy to get to where they want to be. They got it on Saturday with a career-best 27-point game against WKU.
Up Next: vs UAB – Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Subscribe on Patreon for exclusive Rice football recruiting updates, practice notes and more.