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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rice Owls announce 2018-'19 women's basketball schedule

Rice University

Schedule includes 14 games at Tudor Fieldhouse

September 6, 2018

Rice women's basketball has announced the Owls complete schedule for the 2018-19 season. The Owls, on the heels of a 23-win season and WNIT appearance last year, will play five of their 11 non-conference games inside Tudor Fieldhouse before opening the 16-game Conference USA slate in January.

Rice will face four teams who advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season and eight postseason qualifiers. In total, the Owls will play five teams who won 20 or more games in 2017-18.

The Owls head to College Station for the season opener on November 7 to take on a Texas A&M Aggies team that went 26-10 in 2017-18, finishing the year ranked 14th overall after advancing to the Sweet 16. Last year the Owls dropped a heart-breaking 82-76 decision to the then No. 18 Aggies at Reed Arena.

The Owls travel to the West Coast, November, 11 to take on the UCLA Bruins for the third time in school history. UCLA (27-8) finished last season ranked No. 9 in the nation and advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. It will mark the first time in school history the Owls open a season with consecutive games against Top-25 programs from the previous year.

Rice closes out its non-conference road swing, November 17, at Little Rock, against a Trojans team that won 23 games last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Owls will then host Texas Southern for the home opener, November 20, which begins a stretch of six consecutive home games into the middle of December.

A pair of Louisiana programs will visit Tudor Fieldhouse in McNeese St. (November 25) and New Orleans (December 1) before the Owls host Prairie View A&M (December 8). Rice welcomes SMU on December 15 in the final home non-conference game of the season. The Owls will partake in the Carolinas Challenge, which will take place in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Rice will face North Carolina for the second time in school history on December 18, followed by a tilt against Coastal Carolina on December 20. Rice's final non-conference matchup will be December 29 at Incarnate Word.

The Owls open the C-USA season, January 3, at Southern Miss, followed by a road contest in Ruston, La. against Louisiana Tech (WNIT participant) on January 5. Rice's C-USA home opener is scheduled for January 10 against UTSA, followed by the Miners of UTEP on January 12.

Following a bye from action on January 17, Rice will square off against North Texas in the first of two meetings before a return trip to Denton on February 23. On January 24 and 26, the Owls hit the road again for contests at Middle Tennessee and UAB, respectively. Rice defeated the Blue Raiders in the 2017 C-USA Tournament before falling to UAB in the semifinals.

The Owls host Charlotte (January 31) and Old Dominion (February 2) before traveling to Bowling Green, Ky. to face the defending league champion WKU Lady Toppers on February 7, followed by a road game at Marshall on February 9.

Three of Rice's final five C-USA games will be at Tudor Fieldhouse, including FIU (February 14) and Florida Atlantic (February 16). After the North Texas tilt on February 23, the Owls conclude the regular season with their final home game on March 2 against Louisiana Tech and then a quick trip down south to UTSA on March 7.

The 2019 C-USA Tournament will once again be held at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, March 13-16.

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