Natisha Hiedeman had 13 points and six rebounds and fifth-seeded Marquette rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final 2:31 of regulation and pulled out a 58-54 overtime win in a first-round NCAA Women's Tournament game at College Station, Texas, on Friday.
Allazia Blockton added 12 points off the bench in the Chicago Region matchup. Lauren Van Kleunen added 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Marquette (27-7), the Big East regular season champions.
The Golden Eagles move on to a Sunday matchup with fourth-seeded Texas A&M, which beat 13th-seeded Wright State 84-61 on Friday. The winner of the Sunday contest will move on to regional semifinals in Chicago.
Rice (28-4), the 12th seed, had a 21-game winning streak snapped. Erica Ogwumike had 22 points and Nancy Mulkey supplied 18 with nine rebounds and five blocks for the Conference USA champions.
Amani Wilborn made a jumper 3:31 into overtime to give Marquette a two-point lead. Blockton scored to make it a four-point game before Ogwumike hit a jumper with 51 seconds remaining for Rice's only points of the extra session.
Hiedeman drained two free throws with two seconds left to secure the victory.
Rice forced four first-quarter turnovers and gained a 12-8 lead.
The Owls went nearly four minutes without scoring in the second quarter while Marquette went on a 7-0 run. Selena Lott made a layup in the final second to give the Golden Eagles a 20-19 halftime edge.
Marquette got off to the slow start in the second half. It didn't score until a Lott layup with 5:24 left in the third. Mulkey scored the first two baskets of the half and when Nicole Iademarco made a layup with 4:30 to go in the quarter, Rice's lead was 30-25.
The Owls maintained a slim lead the rest of the quarter. They were up 37-35 heading into the fourth.
Rice bumped the lead to five with 5:38 remaining on a Mulkey layup and two Ogwumike free throws.
Shani Rainey's layup with 3:58 remaining gave Rice a seven-point advantage at 50-43. Ogwumike hit a jumper for a nine-point lead.
The Golden Eagles then came roaring back with a 9-0 run. Blockton got it started with a three and her jumper with 1:06 left tied it at 52-all.
That's the way it ended in regulation.
--Field Level Media