SEATTLE (AP) -- Lauren Neaves scored 17 points and added 10
rebounds as Rice disposed of Penn 59-54 Saturday in the first round
of the Husky Classic.
Rice (2-1) will play the winner of Saturday's late game between
Washington and San Diego (1-2) in Sunday's championship game. Penn
(1-2) will play the loser of that game in Sunday's consolation
While Rice led from start to finish, the Owls were never in
complete control and never led by more than 10 points.
Through most of the final four minutes, Penn trailed by just one
point, answering each of Rice's baskets.
Penn center Jennifer Fleischer, scoreless in the first half,
finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds as she battled relentlessly
to narrow Rice's lead.
Penn's Monica Nalter, who scored a game-high 19 points, first
closed the game to one point with a 3-pointer to cut the game to
51-50 with 4:11 on the clock. Neaves responded by putting back her
They traded baskets again before Nalter hit a 16-footer to put
the score at 55-54 with 47.1 left.
Rice took the lead for good when forward Krystal Frazier was
fouled by Nalter with 23.1 remaining. Frazier hit both free throws,
and added two more on Rice's next possession to seal the game.
Rice broke open a 9-0 lead in the opening six minutes, slapping
on a stifling full court press and holding Pennsylvania to 28
percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.
But even when Rice's lead swelled to 10 points with just over
four minutes remaining in the half, the Quakers kept pace, scoring
on an Ashley Grey low-post turnaround jumper with 1:10 left that
closed the gap to 25-21.
Rice took a 27-21 advantage into the break, led by guard Kadie
Riverin's nine points on 4-for-5 shooting. Riverin finished with 13
points and four assists.