Robbins' 23 Points, 23 Rebounds Not Enough as Tulsa Falls to Rice, 55-42, in WAC Semifinals
March 12, 2004
Fresno, California - Tulsa redshirt freshman Jillian Robbins recorded game-highs of 23 points and 23 rebounds, but the Golden Hurricane suffered through its poorest shooting performance of the season and dropped a 55-42 decision to Rice in the semifinals of the 2004 Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Save Mart Center.
Tulsa (19-11) fell behind Rice (21-8) late in the first half and never recovered. The Lady Owls built an 11-point lead on a jumper by Anne Peck with 5:04 remaining in the first half. TU sophomore Megan Moody pulled the Hurricane to within nine points, 27-18, on a jumper, but Rice answered outscored Tulsa 5-1 and led 32-19 at intermission. Tulsa continued to go inside to Robbins in the first half and the 2004 WAC Newcomer of the Year produced 10 points and nine rebounds in the opening period. TU combined to shoot just 19-percent, while Rice connected on 48-percent of its field goal attempts in the first half.
Tulsa stiffened its defensive and allowed Rice just four field goals in the second half. TU doubled Rice's field goals with eight in the second half, but the Hurricane's offense never came around. Tulsa shot just 22-percent in the second half and limited Rice to just 18-percent. The difference in the second half proved to be at the free throw line where the Owls hit 24 of 34 attempts, while the Hurricane could only connect on 11 of 26 attempts. The two teams drew even in scoring with 23 points apiece in the final period, but TU's lack of offense proved to be its downfall.
Robbins was the lone bright spot for Tulsa. The All-WAC First Team performer finished with a career-high 23 points and school single game record 23 rebounds, and finished just two boards shy of the WAC Tournament single-game record. She also added five steals. Robbins' effort helped Tulsa out rebound Rice, 60-43.
Lauren Neaves led the Lady Owls with 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
TU concluded the third WAC Tournament semifinal game in school history with season lows in field goal percentage (20.3), three-point field goal percentage (7.1) and free throw percentage (42.3). Rice managed to hit just 33-percent of its field goals and just one three-pointer, but shot 70-percent from the foul line.
Tulsa senior Candice Brewer dished out five assists and re-established the school's single-season record for assists with 139 on the season.
The Golden Hurricane will now await word on whether it will be selected to the 2004 Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
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