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Women's basketball gets revenge against Tulsa

By Teddy Grodek     2/15/12 6:00pm

Mediocrity is not what the women's basketball team was looking for this year.

This past weekend, the women's basketball team (12-12, 6-5 C-USA) took on the University of Tulsa (10-12, 5-6 C-USA) at Tudor Fieldhouse, hoping to return to .500 after a tumultuous season. The Golden Hurricane, which sits right in the middle of the conference with the Owls, was also looking to return to .500 despite having a rough streak in the conference.

Rice fell down 8-2 but fought back to get the score to 11-9. The slow start was odd at home, as the Owls usually start off hotter on their own court.

However, one more run gave the Golden Hurricane the lead again, albeit for the last time, as Rice tore through the Tulsa defense to go back on top. The Owls, who regained the lead at 25-22, never relinquished it and held a one-point lead at halftime.

Rice only shot 26.5 percent in the first half, a miserable number despite holding the lead. The Owls' defensive effort managed to carry them through the entire game.

Rice had problems in the second half but never gave up the lead, letting its advantage dwindle down to uncomfortable margins at times. It was impressive that the Owls never lost the lead despite their streaky scoring.

The Owls managed to hit their free throws in the final stretch, leaving themselves with a 55-48 win.

"I am proud of our defensive effort today," Head Coach Greg Williams (Hanszen '70) said after the win. "We were more physical in the post today than we were in our game up at Tulsa."

Senior forward Brianna Hypolite, who led the way with 19 points, and freshman forward Nakachi Maduka had 13 points and 10 rebounds in her double-double effort. Sophomore forward Jessica Kuster, who came on in the closing few minutes to seal the victory, ended the game with 10 points. It was Hypolite's 13th time scoring more than 10 points on the season.

Next weekend, the Owls head to the road for both of the games – something they have struggled with all season.

The team took on Tulane University (18-6, 7-4 C-USA), one of the better teams in Conference USA this year, last night in New Orleans. Tulane, who is in position for a first-round bye in the C-USA Tournament, will be looking for a quick win against the Owls in their home arena.

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