TU Women's Basketball Comeback Bid Against Rice Falls Short, 64-61
Feb. 14, 2004
Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Tulsa women's basketball team overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half to pull to within one point against Rice, but the Lady Owls hit two key baskets and two free throws down the stretch to thwart TU's comeback bid and escaped the Donald W. Reynolds Center with a 64-61 victory.
In front of a crowd of 1,378, Tulsa (14-8, 7-5 WAC) trailed by 15 points at halftime and outscored Rice (14-7, 11-1 WAC) 40-28 in the second half. TU battled back and cut the lead to a single point on two occasions in the second half. The first was on a pair of free throws by sophomore Kara Pongonis at the 2:50 mark that brought the score to 55-54. But Rice answered with a jumper from Eshombi Singleton to push its lead to three points. Freshman Jillian Robbins broke loose for a turnaround jumper to cut the deficit to a single point again and give the Golden Hurricane a chance.
But Michelle Woods quieted the crowd and stunned Tulsa with a three-pointer from the right baseline and teammate Lauren Neaves capped off a game-high performance with her 19th point on a lay-up with 0:38 remaining in the game to give the Lady Owls a six-point cushion.
Tulsa pulled to within two points on a pair of free throws from Robbins and a Pongonis trey with 0:13 remaining. Rice's Lindsey Maynard was fouled on the ensuing possession and Maynard connected on the second of two free throw attempts. TU inbounded the ball to Pongonis, who raced down court to attempt a game-tying shot, but her shot came up short and Rice picked up its first win in Tulsa since the 1998-99 campaign.
Tulsa shot 41.2 percent in the second half while holding Rice to just 31.8 percent. TU also out rebounded TU, 43-36, but the story of the game was the first half where Tulsa could only manage to hit 6-of-25 field goal attempts and fell behind by as many as 20 points to the Owls in the opening half. TU shot just 24-percent and was 0-of-4 from behind the three-point line. Rice jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Robbins gave the Hurricane its first point on the second of two free throw attempts. The Golden Hurricane managed to cut the lead to nine points, but Rice continued to roll to a 36-21 halftime lead.
Robbins paced TU with 17 points and a career- and game-high 16 rebounds, which rank second on TU's single-game list. Pongonis added 14 points and senior Candice Brewer finished with 10 points.
Neaves led Rice with 19 points and eight rebounds and Maynard contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Woods was the third Lady Owl to reach double figures with 11 points.
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