Rice women’s basketball blew past Tulane on Saturday, leading for 35 minutes on their way to first place in the AAC standings.
Any doubts as to the result of Saturday’s contest between Rice women’s basketball and Tulane were put to bed rather quickly. Tulane scored first, taking a 2-0 lead on a layup during their first possession. It would be their largest lead of the game. Rice quickly took charge, making their next seven consecutive field goals, closing out the first quarter with a nine-point advantage.
The Owls’ defense took over in the second frame. They held the Green Wave to 3-for-12 shooting from the floor in that period, holding the line until the offense got back into gear. Dominque Ennis provided that jump-start quickly after the halftime break, propelling Rice to an 18-point lead and seemingly putting the game out of reach given Tulane’s shooting struggles.
Tulane’s last gasp came at the beginning of the fourth quarter which they opened on 9-2 run, closing the deficit to eight points. They wouldn’t score again for the remainder of the afternoon. Maya Bokunewicz delivered an incredible under-the-basket shot to push the lead back to double-digits before Rice closed the game on a 9-0 run.
Final Box | Rice 61 – Tulane 44
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) January 20, 2024
Key takeaway | No. 1
With the win, Rice women’s basketball moves to a tie for first place in the league with Charlotte. The Owls have won four of their last five with their only loss coming to those 49ers at home. Rice doesn’t play Charlotte again in the regular season, giving Charlotte a potential tiebreaker for seeding purposes should that be necessary down the road. For now, though, Rice controls its own destiny and the future looks brighter than ever.
It wasn’t just the impact on the conference standings that made this game meaningful. It was the Owls’ first shot to go on the road against a team they were clearly better than and prove they have the focus and determination to take care of business.
Rice ought to have won this game, and they did. But to do so in the manner in which they did, holding Tulane to a season-low 44 points with four double-digit scorers of their own, speaks to a team that wasn’t just fortunate, they were dominant. There’s a long road ahead, but Rice women’s basketball very much so looks the part of the AACs top team.
Up Next: at Tulsa (Wednesday, Jan. 24)
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