Saturday Sports Update: Women's basketball finds victory at last, takes Gene Hackerman Invitational
This weekend the women's basketball team played in the Gene Hackerman Invitational held at Tudor Fieldhouse. They played their opening game against the University of Texas-Pan American Friday, then played Sam Houston State University in the championship on Friday.The Owls got off to a quick start Friday, quickly going up 6-0. Their fast start was hampered by sophomore point guard D'Frantz Smart's two reaching fouls in the first three minutes, placing her on the bench. UTPA hit some clutch shots from beyond the three-point line, but Rice countered with strong post play from sophomore forward Jackie Stanley. Stanley gave the Owls second chance looks. Personal fouls continued to be a problem for Rice as the Broncos had reached the penalty bonus with eight minutes left in the half.
The Owls pulled away at the end of the first half, limiting the Broncos' second-chance opportunities while getting hot from behind the arc. Sophomore forward Brianna Hypolite scored 10 points in two minutes to lead the Owls on a 17-5 run to finish out the half.
The Owls went into the locker up 31-17. Their success was due to their dominance on the boards, with a rebounding margin of 28 to UTPA's 15, as well as keeping the Broncos' field goal percentage down to 25 percent. The Broncos offense looked anemic throughout the first half. Hypolite finished the half off with 10 points and five rebounds in only five minutes of play while Stanley finished with nine points and six rebounds.
Going into the second half, the Owls maintained their momentum. With the return of the starters to the floor, the Owls went ahead 50-29 halfway through the second half. The Broncos had one last surge in them, as they cut the lead to 16, but the Owls fought through and regained momentum. With 7:30 left in the game, freshman forward Lacey Neu went down with a leg injury. She did not return for the rest of the contest. Finishing off the game, the Owls' went deep into their bench.
The Owls finished the game up 71-47 for their first win of the season. Hypolite and Stanley both finished the night with 18, with junior forward Morgan Mayse chipping in 18.
On Saturday against Sam Houston, Stanley threw the team on her back in the first eight minutes, scoring 15 and leading the Owls to a 22-6 lead. For one of the first times all season, the Owls were clicking on all fronts. They were handling and rebounding the basketball and playing strong defense. However, as Stanley cooled down so did the Owls, who went into halftime with an 11-point lead, far from their largest margin of the night.
Stanley stormed out of the locker room and continued to have a strong performance, boosting the Owls' offense. Sam Houston slowly chipped away at the Owls' lead, cutting it down to eight at one point. The ladies worked past the Bearkats' full-court press and found Stanley in the paint, whom Sam Houston State could simply not stop. Rice won the game and the tournament by a 82-62 margin.
Stanley ended the night with 36 points, tied for fifth-most points in a game by any Rice player.
Mayse was named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion, while Stanley was named MVP.
More from The Rice Thresher
A new paid and audition-only student pep band will replace the Marching Owl Band at men’s and women’s basketball games and some volleyball matches, according to Rick Mello, Rice’s deputy athletics director. Mello said Rice athletics hopes to have a band of 30 students in place for the first basketball game in November.
Rice University experienced a series of thefts this past week. Six laptops and two iPads were stolen from a Duncan College suite and Duncan Hall respectively, according to the Rice University Police Department in a campus-wide email sent out last Wednesday morning.
As prices for various goods and services continue to rise nationally, student-run businesses and Rice departments such as Housing & Dining and Facilities Engineering & Planning are among those on campus implementing changes to handle this inflationary spike, while also working to keep prices reasonable for students.