Maudess Fulton open conference play at defending regular-season champion UTEP.
Sept. 9, 2008
HOUSTON - Head coach Greg Williams and the Rice women's basketball program announced the Conference USA slate, completing its 2008-09 schedule.
Rice plays home-and-home series with Houston, SMU, UTEP, Tulsa and Tulane. The Owls split its remaining six games with home tilts against Southern Miss, UAB and Memphis, while traveling to UCF, East Carolina and Marshall.
"Our conference is going to be a wide-open race again this season," Williams said. "We had seven teams receive first-place votes in the preseason poll (last season) and it wouldn't surprise me if that happens again this season."
The Owls open conference play at defending regular-season champion UTEP (Jan. 9) followed by a trip to Tulane (Jan. 11), host of the 2009 C-USA Tournament.
Rice returns to Tudor Fieldhouse to take on Memphis (Jan. 16) and UAB (Jan. 18) before a split weekend at UCF (Jan. 22) and a home tilt against Southern Miss (Jan. 25).
After a road contests at Tulsa (Jan. 29) and SMU (Jan. 31), the Owls have back-to-back games against crosstown rival Houston (Feb. 5 - Tudor Fieldhouse and Feb. 8 - Hofheinz Pavilion).
Rice enjoys a four-game homestand facing off against UTEP (Feb. 12), Tulane (Feb. 14), Tulsa (Feb. 20) and SMU (Feb. 22).
The Owls close out regular-season league play at East Carolina (Feb. 26) and Marshall (Feb. 28). The Conference USA Tournament will be played at Tulane's Fogleman Arena March 5-8.
"UTEP had a phenomenal year and SMU won the conference tournament to give C-USA two teams in the NCAA Tournament," Williams said. "Southern Miss also made a solid WNIT run. The league lost three solid post players (Valeriya Berezhynska - Rice, Janielle Dodds - SMU and Izabella Piekarska - UTEP) so
I feel that the guards will shine this season. Any number of teams has a chance to be the regular season champion and I look forward to the season."
Earlier this summer, the Owls released its non-conference schedule which includes marquee home games against NCAA Tournament participant Baylor (Nov. 23), Pac-10 foe UCLA (Dec. 17) and NCAA Sweet 16 team George Washington (Jan. 5).
Rice embarks on the 2008-09 season against Cal State Northridge (Nov. 14) to christen Tudor Fieldhouse. Information on season tickets for the return of basketball to the Rice campus is scheduled to be released in the near future on RiceOwls.com