On the evening of Feb 20, 2020, I stepped onto the Rice University campus to see this game. Everything was so calm and quite, to the point that I thought I had the wrong date for the event. Nope, I had the right date and time alright, it was just the calm before the storm.
The Owls started the game out strong; but, within a few minutes, things changed. North Texas definitely took command of the game – lots of good steals, 3 point shots, and good defense. Rice appeared to flounder under the pressure. By halftime, the Mean Green was up 37 to 26.
Then it came, at the start of the 3rd quarter, Rice was unleashed. The momentum of the game shifted and the Owls were in control: many excellent steals, stuffed shots, good defense, 3 point shots, and intense physicality . It was not an easy situation for either team – the struggle was Herculean for both sides.
If I could sum up the second half in a phrase, I would say, “head cracking”. Basketball is defined as a “non contact sport” – at least, that is what I was told. That was not true at Tudor Fieldhouse on Thursday night. I literally saw bodies flying left and right. There were lots of calls for charging; but, some of the collisions were just aggressive basketball. Neither side was more physical than the other. Both sides just wanted to win.
The lady Owls have a great team. The Rice University women’s basketball team is #1 in their conference. North Texas was 3rd from the bottom and will probably sink even lower after this loss.
You should come out and join us next time. Do not let the statuesque oak trees, serene lawns, and imposing academic buildings fool you on a dark and quite winter evening in Houston. Things are popping down at Tudor Fieldhouse.