After scheduling Duke and Oklahoma State early this summer, Texas A&M women’s basketball has bolstered its non-conference schedule with in-state rival Rice on Nov. 17 at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.
The Owls finished last season with a 28-4 overall record, along with a 16-0 Conference USA mark good enough for the No. 21 spot of the final AP top-25 poll. Despite winning 21 games straight, Rice’s season was cut short by Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re excited about playing another quality program that has developed into a consistent NCAA contender,” A&M head coach Gary Blair said in a press release. “We were prepared to play Rice in the NCAA Tournament last year—knowing that they were going to give Marquette a game in the First Round. Both programs are quite familiar with one another.”
A&M leads the all-time series 33-10 against Rice, and has won six straight contests against the Owls since 2009. The latest win came in the season opener last year, with the Aggies beating the Owls 65-54 at Reed Arena.
“I think it’s going to be a battle down at Tudor Fieldhouse, and the best way to win that battle is to have as many Aggies in the building as Rice fans,” Blair said in the release. “I’m happy to take my Houston-area players back home and play in front of the numerous Aggie fans from the area.”
The Aggies come off their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance and a No. 14 finishing spot in the AP top-25. With 94 percent of the team’s points returning for 2019-2020, A&M will be one of the most experienced teams in the SEC.
Prior to meeting in non-conference matchups, A&M and Rice played each other twice per season as members of the now-dissolved Southwest Conference from 1983-1996.
A&M women’s basketball will open the 2019 season against Duke on Sunday, Nov. 10 at Reed Arena.