The Rice Owls are moving on in the 2018 Women’s NIT basketball tournament after taking down the Texas State Bobcats, 71-60, inlast Thursday’s win at home.
Next up for the Owls will be a second-round matchup against the New Mexico Lobos. The game is slated for an 8 p.m. tipoff on Tuesday in Albuquerque, N.M.
The winner of the game will advance to the third round of the tournament to face TCU, which defeated Missouri State in an 86-51 win in the second round at home on Saturday.
Against Texas State, the Owls nearly led from start to finish in their opening round victory as they improved to 23-9 overall. With the win, the Owls are now one win away from tying the program record for victories in a single season, which was set back in 2004-05. The Owls limited Texas State to just 38 percent of shooting from the field and 4-for-19 on 3-pointers.
Rice shot 46 percent from the field and capitalized at the charity stripe, going 16-for-20 on free throws.
Thursday’s win for the Owls was their first in the Women’s NIT since 2006. Erica Ogwumike had a team-leading double-double (her 14th of the season), scoring a game-high of 27 points and a game-high of 10 rebounds. She also went 9-for-15 from the field and 7-for-8 at the free throw line. She now has 543 points total this season, leading the team in scoring.
Ogwumike has led the team in scoring this year, averaging 17.5 points per game, while Nicole Iademarco has scored 439 points total and has averaged 13.7.
Rice has averaged 65 points per game this year and have shot 44.0 percent on field goals. The Owls are also 36.4 percent on 3-pointers and from the line have gone 73.7 percent.
The Owls have won five of their last six games, recording wins over North Texas at the end of the regular season before beating Old Dominion and Middle Tennessee in the Conference USA tournament along with last week’s first round win over the Bobcats.
The Lobos are coming off an 82-80 win over Saint Mary’s in last week’s home victory in the first round of the Women’s NIT.
New Mexico (24-10) was led by Cherise Beyon’s 33 points while Jaisa Nunn put up 16 points.
The Lobos had a 19-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and both teams kept it close throughout the game before N’Dea Flye of New Mexico hit two momentum-changing 3-pointers late in the contest to help the Lobos escape.
It is the sixth time overall that New Mexico is in the Women’s NIT and first since 2010.
New Mexico has averaged 80.2 points per game this season and shot 42.0 percent while going 34.2 percent on 3-pointers. The Lobos have also shot 75.4 percent from the line.
Beynon has led the team in scoring, having scored 567 points total and averaging 16.8 points per game. Nunn has scored 553 points total and 16.8 averaged per game.
Tuesday’s game will be played at Dreamstyle Arena.