Rice outlasted the Tulsa women's basketball team and earned a 56-53 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.
Tulsa fell to 5-10 on the season and 0-2 in Conference USA, while the Owls moved to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in the league.
"We just can't get over the hump," TU coach Matilda Mossman said. "When you are a program that is use to winning, you find a way to win, but when you are a program that is use to not having success, it is hard to find those ways. So far we just can't find the right way to win, but it is going to turn and when it does it will turn in a big way because of the way our team is fighting and competing."
Taleya Mayberry scored a team-best 17 points, while Kelsee Grovey added 12 and Tiffani Couisnard had eight. Couisnard pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds, and picked up a game-high four steals and two blocks in front of her hometown crowd. Mayberry registered nine rebounds and four assists.
TU shot just 26-percent from the field (18-of-67), 31-percent from behind the arc and 61-percent from the charity stripe. Tulsa had 14 points in the paint and 13 second-chance points.
The Golden Hurricane had a 29-27 advantage at the break as there were five lead changes and four tied scores in the tightly contested first frame. Grovey had nine points and Mayberry added eight, while Couisnard pulled down eight rebounds and had three steals in the first half.
The second half was a battle with nine more lead changes and six additional tied scores. Couisnard scored all eight of her points in the second frame, while Mayberry added nine.
Rice had a 48-42 lead in rebounds and an 8-2 advantage in blocks, while Tulsa had a 13-9 lead in steals and turned the ball over just 16 times compared to the Owls' 23.
Rice had two players with a double-double, including 18 points and 12 rebounds by Jessica Kuster, and 11 points and 15 boards by Christal Porter. Nakachi Maduka added 13 points and a team-best three steals.
Tulsa will return to action on Thursday against Marshall. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.