HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Maya Hawkins and Jasmine Goodwine finished their collegiate careers as champions on Sunday as the Rice women’s basketball team defeated the UNC-Greensboro Spartans 74-62 in the Women’s Basketball Invitational title game at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Hawkins scored 17 points and finished three rebounds and three assists shy of a triple-double and was named the WBI tournament Most Valuable Player. Hawkins became the 17th player in Rice history to score 1000 points in her career, she needed 12 points entering the game to reach that milestone.
The victory earned the Owls (22-13) their first ever postseason tournament victory in school history and the third 22-win season in the program’s history.
“I am just so proud of them and happy for these seniors to be able to go out with a championship,” head coach Tina Langley said.
The Owls defeated Lamar (73-72), UT-Rio Grande Valley (73-63) and Idaho (86-80) in route to the tournament championship.
The Owls started the game strong building a seven point lead after Hawkins’ three-pointer with 3:20 left in the period with Rice up 15-8. The Spartans closed out the quarter on an 8-2 run and trailed 18-17 at the end of the first quarter.
The Spartans would outscore Rice 21-12 in the second quarter holding Rice without a basket in the final 2:57 of the period and led 38-30 at halftime.
The Owls turned the corner offensively in the third quarter scoring the first seven points to trim the Spartan lead to one after a Shani Rainey three.
The Owls closed out the third quarter on a 10-1 run. Rainey’s lay-up with 28-seconds left in the third gave the Owls a 54-49 lead to start the final quarter. The Spartans never pulled closer than four points in the remainder of the game.
Goodwine finished her Rice career off with a 13 point and five rebound outing and sits 10th on all-time scoring list with 1,211 career points.
“It was amazing to be able to cut the down the nets in front of our crowd, in front our fans and family and with our team,” Goodwine said. “I wouldn’t want to leave any other way it was just a great feeling.”
Rainey, who suffered a knee injury midway through the fourth quarter added 13 points and eight boards. Sophomore Lexie Ducat scored 12 with nine rebounds off the bench.
Shanese Harris led three Spartans in double-figures with 20 points off the bench.
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio