Women's basketball defeats Nicholls State in season opener
Sophomore guard Haylee Swayze had a coming out party for Rice women’s basketball during the Owls’ 71-47 home opening win against Nicholls State University. Swayze excelled off the bench, scoring 22 points in only 17 minutes of play. She was a perfect four for four from the free throw line, and made four threes on a 57 percent shooting clip.
Swayze said she attributes her success to the team’s strong play.
“I felt good, just had a good game,” Swayze said. “We played well together as a team, we have really embraced the mantra of ‘go together’ this year. We were seeing the passes and thinking ahead.”
Once Rice got out to an early lead over NSU, the Owls held and extended it with variations of on-court lineups — each Rice player saw action at some point against the Lady Colonels. Head coach Tina Langley said she is pleased about the team’s performance against Nicholls.
“It was good to get the season started,” Langley said. “We have played against ourselves a good bit and against our scout team. To go against some live competition was good for our team and we were able to see some good things tonight and I think there are other areas that we will grow into quickly.”
Langley said she was impressed with the new players’ performance against Nicholls State.
“I just liked their aggressiveness,” Langley said. “They come out there ready to compete.I think that they’ve been working really hard and they’ve improved a lot. They’re learning a lot fast.”
Langley made the decision to start freshman forward Lauren Schwartz, who finished with 11 points in her Rice debut. Langley said she is happy with her decision to start Schwartz.
“I liked her toughness and the way she gelled with the team,” Langley said. “We were trying to put a lineup out there that plays well together to start the game. I think it’s a good fit for the way we start.”
Rice will move on to face the University of Arkansas, Little Rock Trojans at Tudor Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1:00 p.m. The Owls will soon face No. 6 Texas A&M University at home in two weeks. The Aggies are a formidable opponent, as they lost in the round of 16 in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball tournament last year.
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