Rice stymies Herd

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 6:12 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Lauren Schwartz made seven of her 14 shots, including four of seven from downtown, to pace the visiting Rice women’s basketball team in a 64-48 wire-to-wire win over Marshall Saturday afternoon in the Cam Henderson Center.

The Owls improved to 13-1 and 9-0 atop Conference USA, while the Thundering Herd dropped to 5-8 and 4-7 in the league.

Rice also received 14 points and three blocks from 6′9″ center Nancy Mulkey and 10 from Haylee Swayze. Sydney Wiggins and Jasmine Smith each recorded five assists and Wiggins and Schwartz tied for top rebounding honors with six.

Marshall was led by Kristen Mayo’s 15 points (3-for-6 on 3-pointers), 11 of which came in the second half. Kennedi Colclough added 10 before fouling out. Lorelei Roper paced the team with six rebounds and Savannah Wheeler chipped in three assists.

Rice’s stiff defensive effort, combined with Marshall’s cold first-half shooting, allowed the visitors to build a 33-15 halftime lead. In the game’s first 30 minutes, the Owls held the Herd to a 5-for-30 effort (16.7 percent) from the floor, including a 3-for-17 clip (17.6 percent) from 3-point range.

The lead grew to as many as 22 (39-17) on a Mulkey layup at the 7:58 mark of the third quarter. Marshall did mount a bit of a charge, a 14-3 run in the latter stages of the period when Mahogany Matthews hit a layup to force a Rice timeout. That cut the Owls’ lead to 44-31 at the 1:11 mark.

Marshall got no closer than 11 points in the fourth period, despite outscoring Rice 33-31 in the second half.

The Thundering Herd was whistled for 23 fouls to Rice’s eight during the contest.

Rice held a significant edge on points in the paint (22-14), second chance points (15-6) and bench points (20-9).

“We obviously played horrendously on offense in the first half,” said Marshall head coach Tony Kemper. “You can’t do that and expect to find a way to win against a team as good as Rice. We’ve shot it bad all year. We have to find a way to get that fixed in the offseason. We need some hungry players that understand how we’re playing offense right now isn’t good enough. Even if we had shot what has been our normal percentage (this year), we would’ve been somewhat in (the game) at halftime. We couldn’t get it done.”

“I thought we played relatively hard the whole game. Some of our fouls were not very smart. We have to clean that up tomorrow and try to go back at them.”

The two teams will play the second game of the series at noon back in the Henderson Center.

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