Possessing the second longest active win streak in the nation at 16 games, the Rice Owls are enjoying the best season in program history that includes an Associated Press top-25 ranking (No. 24) and a first Conference USA regular season title.
AP RANKINGS: UCLA enters Top 25; Baylor unanimous No. 1
Undefeated in 2019, Rice (23-3, 14-0) kept its win streak alive and clinched the regular season championship by defeating the North Texas Mean Green 59-47 on Saturday afternoon at The Super Pit. The 16 straight wins rank second to No. 1 Baylor, which has reeled off 18 straight victories this season. The 14 conference wins are the most wins ever by an Owls team as a member of C-USA. Rice, which scored its 10th consecutive road win at North Texas, recorded the second regular season title in program history, joining the 2004-05 Western Athletic Conference championship team.
🚨 Your Rice Owls are the 2019 #CUSAWBB regular season Conference Champions! 🚨— Rice Women’s Basketball (@RiceWBB) February 23, 2019
🦉1st time in school history
🦉14-0 in #CUSAWBB
🦉16-game win streak (T1st nation)
🦉10-game road win streak #GoOwls👐 x #Fight4Greatness pic.twitter.com/aXyXnJyXer
Against North Texas, sophomore center Nancy Mulkey led all players with 24 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. Mulkey made 10-of-15 shots from the field and scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half. Senior guard Nicole Iademarco (12 points) also scored in double-figures and made three of the Owls' six made 3-pointers. Defensively the Owls limited North Texas to 39 percent shooting from the field. Rice is currently ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents only 53.6 points per game and have now held 19 straight opponents below 70 points.
The Owls this season are led by junior guard Erica Ogwumike, who leads the team with an average of 16.0 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Mulkey, a 6'9" presence in the middle, averages 12.9 points per game and has blocked 67 shots in only 18 games.
Rice’s only three losses this season have come against Texas A&M, UCLA, and North Carolina, with the last loss coming against the Tar Heels on Dec. 18.
The Owls will be the No. 1 seed at next month's C-USA Tournament (Mar. 13-16) and have earned a first-round bye. Rice next returns home for their final regular season home game on Saturday, Mar. 2 when they host Louisiana Tech.
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