Rice women’s basketball entered the fourth quarter in a tied game with Old Dominion, but the Owls couldn’t finish things off, falling to 0-4 in conference play.
It wasn’t quite deja-vu, but there was a familiar feel from the opening moments to the final whistle of the road tilt between Rice women’s basketball and Old Dominion on Thursday afternoon. Just as they had done in prior outings, Rice raced out to an early lead, reaching an eight-point advantage in the first three minutes and change of the first quarter.
And just has been the case in those previous games. the Owls watched their opponents claw back into the game. Old Dominion would cut their deficit to two points in the first quarter and get within one point in the final minute before halftime. In the third quarter, the Monarchs would take the lead for the very first time as both teams struggled from the field.
Last Time Out: Rice Women’s Basketball ‘s early lead slips away vs Marshall
The tempo started to pick up at the back end of the third quarter. There were no lead changes in the first 25 minutes of regulation. There were three in the final five minutes of the third quarter with India Bellamy delivering the equalizing layup in the final seconds.
Turnovers proved to be the difference in the final quarter. Rice turned the ball over seven times to ODU’s three with both teams shooting 60 percent or better from the floor. Old Dominion edged Rice on the boards and got off a few more shots and that proved to be the difference. Rice falls to 0-4 in conference play with the loss.
Player Spotlight | India Bellamy
Bellamy scored a career-high 12 points against Old Dominion, adding four rebounds, three assists and three steals to her ledger along the way. She played 26-minutes, also a career-high, but one that could prove to be more sticky moving forward. Rice has relied much more on its thin bench in recent weeks and will have to continue doing so if they have any chance of being fresh in the fourth quarter. That means trusting players like Bellamy when they’re shooting the ball well and spreading the ball around to lighten the load.
Stat Corner | Figuring out the Fourth
At the beginning of the season, winning the third quarter was a major point of emphasis for the Owls. Head coach Lindsay Edmonds opened multiple postgame media sessions with a desire to improve as a team right out of the halftime break. For the most part, Rice has answered that call, particularly since their return from their long COVID-19 induced hiatus. Now it’s time for this team to take the next step.
“We’ve preached being better in the third [quarter] and I think that’s happened,” Edmonds said earlier in the week. “Now we’ve got to figure out how to be better sometimes in the second or the fourth.” Rice was outscored 29-19 in the fourth quarter on Thursday, losing the game by that same 10-point margin.
Final Box | ODU 69 – Rice 59
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Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice women’s basketball has one more game on their current road trip before they make the trek back to Houston. They play at Charlotte on Saturday. Once they make it back to Texas, they’ll host Louisiana Tech on Thursday and Southern Miss on Saturday.