Tulsa hoped to take some momentum it had build from playing league-leading UTEP in Sunday’s game at Rice, and it nearly came out on top. But it did not as it lost 56-53 to the Owls at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.
Taleya Mayberry, who led the Golden Hurricane (5-9 overall, 0-2 in Conference USA) with 17 points, put them on top 51-49 with a jumper in the paint with 4:01. But Rice seized back the lead with a pair of jumpers over the next 1:05. And exchange of fouls and free throws followed with the Owls getting the better end of it.
"We just can't get over the hump," Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said. "When you are a program that is use to winning, you find a way to win, but when you are a program that is use to not having success, it is hard to find those ways. So far we just can't find the right way to win, but it is going to turn and when it does it will turn in a big way because of the way our team is fighting and competing."
Kelsee Grovey also finished double digits for the Hurricane, logging 12 points.
Tulsa had its share of leads including a 29-27 advantage at intermission. It shot 27 percent (18-of-67) in field goals, 32 percent (6-of-19) from 3-point range and 61 percent (11-of-18) in free throws.
Rice connected on 38 percent (20-of-53) from the field, made just two treys and sank 70 percent (14-of-20) from the foul line.
Tulsa returns home to meet Marshall at 7 p.m. Thursday.