Taleya Mayberry led the way for Tulsa with 21 points in a 49-45 win over Rice on Sunday afternoon at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. TU moved to 11-13 on the season and 6-5 in Conference USA, while the Owls fell to 10-14 overall and 2-9 in the league.
"We just didn't shoot very well in the first half," Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. "I know at one point we were shooting 12-percent, and then we finished the first half shooting 27-percent. Taleya was really good down the stretch. A lot of things didn't go her way early, but she made big plays when we needed her too, and not with her scoring, but her ability to get other people in the right position. You look at it and they out-rebounded us, they made more free throws than we did and they made more three-point shots than we did, but the key stat was that we had 13 offensive rebounds and they had nine. I don't know why we struggled so hard today, but it was a bizarre offensive game. Our kids just fought it out and I am excited to come out with the win."
Kadan Brady added nine points and seven rebounds, while Tiffani Couisnard recorded eight points and eight boards, and Ashley Clark had eight rebounds. Mayberry and Couisnard each posted three steals, and Kelsee Grovey and Clark added two apiece.
Tulsa shot 31-percent from the field, just 16-percent from three-point range (2-of-12) and 50-percent from the charity stripe. The Hurricane had 34 points in the paint, 15 points off turnovers and 12 second-chance points.
Rice had a 43-42 lead in rebounds, a 3-1 advantage in blocks and a 9-4 lead in assists, while the Hurricane had an 11-3 lead in steals and just 10 turnovers to the Owls' 17.
Rice started the game with a 7-0 run, but TU countered with an 8-1 run to tie the game at 8-all with 13:04 on the clock. The Owls once again sprinted ahead, this time on an 8-2 run to take a 16-12 lead with 8:04 left to play, and outscored Tulsa, 7-6, to take a 23-18 advantage into the break.
The Owls had a game-high eight-point lead as Jessica Goswitz scored a three-pointer to start the second half, but Tulsa battled back to tie the game at 28-all with 16:03 on the clock. Neither team led by more than two baskets for the remainder of the contest, with TU holding most of the advantage in the second frame, and the Hurricane came away with a four-point win.
The Owls were led by Goswitz with 12 points, all of which came off three-pointers, and Christal Porter with 10 points. Jessica Kuster pulled down 12 rebounds, Megan Palmer had 10 and Nakachi Maduka had four assists.
Rice shot 32-percent from the field, 31-percent from behind the arc and 53-percent from the free throw line.
Tulsa will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 21st against SMU. Game time is set for 7:00 pm at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, Texas.
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