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Florida Atlantic Owls head to Houston to face Rice Thursday

Florida Atlantic women’s basketball (12-10, 5-8 C-USA) will look to bounce back on Thursday, as the Owls take on the Rice Owls (15-6, 6-6 C-USA) for their first meeting this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.

FAU currently sits at 12-10 overall and 5-8 in Conference USA play so far this season. The Owls are just coming off a 1-1 homestand that saw the Owls bounce back to even the season series against UAB, 80-75, before falling in a 73-59 battle against Charlotte. FAU is in its second season under head coach Jennifer Sullivan, who has led the Owls to a 17-35 record over her two seasons in Boca Raton.

The Owls are led by Conference USA-leading freshman Aniya Hubbard, who ranks first among freshman and eighth in the conference in scoring with 14.3 points per game. Hubbard is also the team leader in assists and steals, averaging 2.4 and 2.6 per contest, respectively. Joiya Maddox and Janeta Rozentale round out the Owls top three scorers this season with 9.3 and 8.9 points per game, respectively. Rozentale leads FAU on the glass, posting 6.5 rebounds per game and tallying 16 blocked shots this season.

As a team, the Owls rank second in Conference USA in rebounding margin (5.2), rebounds per game (40.2), and three-point percentage defense (.282), third in defensive rebounds per game (26.7) and free throw attempts per game (21.1), fourth in offensive rebounds per game (13.5), scoring defense (64.5), and steals per game (8.4), and fifth in winning percentage (.545), turnovers forced per game (17.0), free throws made per game (14.5), and fewest fouls per game (17.6).

The Rice Owls are 15-6 and 6-6 in Conference USA play so far this season and are coming off a 1-1 week which saw Rice earn a 60-57 win over LA Tech before falling in a 69-66 road battle against North Texas. Rice is in its second season under head coach Lindsay Edmonds, who has led the Owls to a 29-19 overall record in her two seasons in Houston.

The Owls are led by Ashlee Austin and Malia Fisher, who are averaging 12.9 and 12.8 points per game this season, respectively. Fisher is also the team leader in rebounds, grabbing 7.4 boards per contest, and ranks second on the team in blocks, averaging 0.4 blocks per game. Destiny Jackson leads Rice in assists and steals, dishing out 3.6 assists per game, and collecting 1.6 steals per game. India Bellamy has recorded a team-leading 0.6 blocks per game so far in 2022-23.

The Owls lead Conference USA in free throw attempts per game (21.2), rank second in field goal percentage (.447), free throws made per game (15.5), scoring margin (4.7), scoring offense (72.8), and winning percentage (71.4), third in 3-point percentage (.317), fourth in rebounding margin (3.9) and free throw percentage (72.9), and fifth in turnover margin (-0.1), 3-pointers per game (6.1), and 3-point attempts per game (19.2).

Rice leads the all-time series over FAU, 5-2, including a 2-1 record when playing in Houston. Rice is currently on a five-game winning streak over FAU dating back to Feb. 18, 2016. In the last meeting between the two teams, Rice claimed a 78-69 win over FAU in Boca Raton.

After Thursday’s game, the Owls remain on the road as they head to Ruston, Louisiana on Saturday, Feb. 11 to take on the LA Tech Lady Techsters for a 3 p.m. ET tip inside Thomas Assembly Center.

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