HOUSTON – For the first time in program history, the Rice Lady Owls basketball team is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, coming in at 25th in the nation. Rice (22-3, 13-0 in Conference USA) has won 15 straight games, and is currently a perfect 12-0 at home.
"It's really cool ... just to leave our mark and to create history here at Rice," said star guard Erica Ogwumike. The Cy Woods product leads the Lady Owls in both scoring (16.3 points per game) and rebounding (11.0 per contest).
"Being from Houston, I've known about Rice, my parents have known about Rice, and it's nice to get Rice known basketball-wise too."
"We're grateful that this community has supported us they way they have," added head coach Tina Langley, now in her fourth season in West U.
"We have a tremendous group of student-athletes ... [We're] so blessed to work with some incredible young women," said Langley.
That talent pool includes not only Ogwumike -- younger sister of WNBA superstars Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike -- but also several other local products.
Starting center Nancy Mulkey is a former McDonald's All-American and transfer from Oklahoma. Mulkey played alongside Erica Ogwumike on the Cy Woods team that won a state title in 2015. After missing the first eight games of the season while recovering from an injury, the 6-foot-9 Mulkey is averaging 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game.
Senior guard/forward Nicole Iademarco (The Woodlands HS/Arizona State) is third on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game, while Dekaney grad Lauren Grigsby averages 7.8 points per contest.
The Lady Owls return to action Saturday afternoon when they visit North Texas.