The Utes brought this one on themselves.
Utah was supposed to play Rice Thursday night, but the huge snowstorm that whitewashed the valley prevented the team from traveling until Friday morning. So the game was pushed back a night.The road-weary Utes played like a team that had just gotten off a plane, as they lost their fourth game of the season, 59-48.
Utah insisted the game be played, even though canceling it could have been an option. It did not count in either team's WAC records because it was a "crossover game," but the Utes wanted to play it anyway. They figured a win in Houston would only increase their chances of hosting the NCAA Regionals.
The loss could mean Utah is out of contention to host, and will have to go on the road instead.
A 14-0 run helped put Utah ahead 39-32 with 10:45 left to play, but then the Utes' tired legs began to show. Rice finished the game with a 27-9 flurry, as the Utes saw their shooting dip to 27 percent in the second half. Rice hit at a 50 percent clip during the final 20 minutes.
Lindsay Sodja led Utah with 17 points off the bench. Julie Krommenhoek added 16 but was only 6-for-19 from the field. Charonda Wilson scored a career-high 19 for the Owls.