Mayse Helps Owls Top PV
"It was exciting. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen," said Mayse about her game-winning shot. "I knew we needed to a shot off; thanks to Maude (senior Maudess Fulton) she got me a pass and it went in."
The game was not a thing of beauty; but, both teams were definitely competitive throughout the contest.
Rice led 26 to 20 at the half despite limiting Prairie View to just 5 for 29 shooting (17.2%) in the opening 20 minutes. The Owls shot 10 for 29 (34.5%); but, the Lady Panthers (or Pantherettes) repeatedly broke down the Owls defense and went 10 for 12 from the foul line.
"I was disappointed in how they got to the rim so much," said Owls head coach Greg Williams on his team's perimeter defense.
Prairie View attacked the basket often throughout the game; but, PV simply struggled to finish their drives with made baskets. Prairie View made only 15 of their 55 field goal attempts in the game for a frigid 27.3%.
"We've just got to learn how to finish," said PV head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke.
Rice scored the first seven points of the second half to lead 33 to 20; then, PV turned up the intensity on offense and defense to tie the game at 35.
"I take pride in the fact we came back from 13 points down in the second half," Cooper-Dyke added. "But, I'd also like to note we should have been down 13 points in the first place."
Coop continued to get specific on her teams travails.
"What we needed to do was fix some small things like making lay-ups; like making free throws; taking care of the ball. I thought we played hard -- that was one battle won. The next thing we have to do is come and execute in the half-court offense and learn how to finish games."
After PV guard Gatti Werema made two free throws to give the Pantherettes a 45 to 42 lead with 2:16 remaining in the game, PV did not score the rest of the game.
Rice freshman post Candace Ashford hit two free throws at the 1:52 mark to pull Rice within one (45 to 44).
Prairie View (1-2) forward Chari Smith missed a jump shot at 1:36; but, Rice committed a turnover on their next possession. Candice Thomas missed another jump shot which would have given Prairie View a three point lead; Morgan Mayse rebounded the missed shot at the 43 second mark.
Rice junior guard Tara Watts missed a contested three-point shot with 21 seconds remaining; and Prairie View picked up the the team rebound. Smith was fouled by Ashford with 17 seconds left in the game. Smith, who was 3 for 4 from the foul line up to that point in the game, missed both foul shots.
Rice (2-0) rebounded the miss and called timeout with 13 seconds remaining. The Owls executed a great play which resulted in a great shot by Mayse with six seconds on the clock. The shot attempt rimmed out; but, Prairie View was unable to hold the rebound and Rice kept possession with just three seconds on the clock. After a 30 second timeout, the Owls scrambled to inbound the ball; Maudess Fulton caught the pass; but, she passed to Mayse and Mayse broke the hearts of the PV fans by swishing the shot as the game clock expired.
Mayse led the Owls with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Candice Thomas led PV with 14 points while Chari Smith added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"I feel bad for Cynthia and her team," said Greg Williams after the game. "That was a grind it game for both teams. Both teams were struggling to score. Both teams showed a lot of heart. They competed hard. Shots weren't falling for either team. They (shots) were at a premium. We just happened to hit one at the buzzer setting the table for our match up with Baylor on Sunday."
Rice hosts top ten Baylor Sunday, November 23, at 2 p.m.