Arizona's defense held the Owls to 27.8 percent shooting in the second half, as the Wildcats took control of the game with a 24-7 run with under 12 minutes remaining in the half. During the run James, who had her first double-double of the season against Brigham Young when she had 11 points and 11 rebounds, scored nine of her game-high 24.
I thought in the first half our intensity waned, but in the second, it was steady, head coach Joan Bonvicini said. We played smarter. This was our best half of the year.
She's a real good player, she's humble, she has a great work ethic and a great attitude. Every time, I watch her she shows me something different in her game. She's an excellent kid, she's very smart and has a great head on her shoulders.
Junior Elizabeth Pickney and sophomore Krista Warren added to Arizona's dominance in the post. Pickney scored 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Warren had eight rebounds to go with six points. Arizona outscored Rice 28-12 in the paint and outrebounded the Owls 50-43.
The Wildcats' starting backcourt, senior Reshea Bristol and junior Tysell Bozeman, each scored 10 points and had four assists.
Kate Beckler led Rice with 17 points. Kenya Tuttle had 11 rebounds, while Kim Lawson notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.