TU Women Falls to Rice, 71-59, in Regular Season Finale
March 3, 2002
Houston - Rice's Johnetta Hayes scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down a game-best 15 rebounds to lead the Owls to a 71-59 victory over Tulsa at Autry Court in the final game of the 2001-02 regular season for both teams.
With the loss, Tulsa (16-12, 11-7 WAC) wraps up a fifth-place finish in Western Athletic Conference play, while Rice (20-7, 14-4) ends the season in second-place. Both teams will return to action in the 2002 Williams WAC Tournament, March 5-9, at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
After both teams battled to a 26-26 tie at intermission, TU opened the second half with six straight points to run out to a 32-26 lead with less than three minutes gone by in the final period. Senior Leela Farr hit four straight free throws, while junior Alyssa Shriver nailed a jumper just inside the free-throw line. However, after a timeout, Rice turned up the heat up on the defensive end and began to find its offensive punch, while the Hurricane's field goal shooting went ice cold.
In less than two minutes, the Owls managed to tie the game with back-to-back field goals and two free throws. A Farr free throw at 14:58 gave TU a one-point advantage, which turned out to be TU's last lead of the game. The Owls allowed Tulsa just two field goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half and Elisa Inman sparked a 12-2 Rice run break open the contest and give Rice a nine-point lead.
Tulsa cut the deficit to five points with four straight free throws by sophomore Candice Brewer. The two teams then traded baskets and TU stilled trailed by five. But TU could never break out of its cold shooting slump and Rice heated up from the field. LaToya Brown drained a three-pointer and a Hayes jumper gave the Owls a 10-point lead with 9:21 left in the game. Rice continued to find its range and increased its lead to as many as 12 points on several occasions. Tulsa managed to cut the double-digit lead to nine points three different times, but the Hurricane was forced to foul and Rice hit 9-of-13 attempts to stave of Tulsa.
Farr led TU with 17 points and nine rebounds. Although she tallied one field goal for the game, Farr re-established the school record for free throw makes and attempts. She connected on 15-of-20 attempts from the charity stripe, which were also a WAC record for attempts in a conference game. Brewer and senior Carla Morrow each added 12 points apiece. The Golden Hurricane won the battle on the boards, outrebounding Rice, 39-34, but the Owls outshot Tulsa, 44.2 percent to 32.7 percent.
Inman and Lindsey Maynard each finished with 10 points apiece for Rice.
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