Someone check and see if there was a full moon earlier this month on Jan. 10. That day, two games went to triple overtime — the longest-running games of the D1 Women's Basketball season to date — with Rice downing North Texas 100-97 and North Carolina State edging Pittsburgh 78-76.
In Pittsburgh, it was the Wolfpack that held a six-point lead with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, but the Panthers roared back to force the first overtime period. After battling through two OT periods with no winner decided, Pitt held a 71-69 lead with 65 second remaining when NC's Dominique Wilson drained a 3-pointer to take the lead for good. Miah Spencer led all scorers, boosting NC State for 22 points. The historic game marked the 50th of Spencer's career where she notched more than 10 points. Wilson finished with 21 while Jennifer Mathurin had a career-high 17 rebounds in the win.
The game featured 10 ties, seven lead changes and many athletes played more than 50 minutes on the floor.
"I'm proud of the team," NC State head coach Wes Moore said afterward. "It wasn't always perfect and it wasn't always pretty, but they made some plays. It would have been really easy at some point after giving up those late buckets at the end of each period to hang their heads and say 'it's just not meant to be."
Out in Houston, the Rice-North Texas game was also a back-and-forth affair, but was much more high scoring.
The Owls trailed early on, falling behind 31-21 at halftime before rallying to tie it up at the end of regulation. The game saw seven lead changes throughout.
On the day, Maya Hawkins had a career-high 27 points for the Owls while Jasmine Goodwine had a career-high 25 points in playing 48 total minutes. Kelsey Criner notched 34 points for the Mean Green to go along with her 10 assists and nine rebounds — falling one board short of picking up North Texas' first-ever triple-double.
"This was a great battle between two teams and hats off to North Texas, they played a great game," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "We spent a tremendous amount of time yesterday in practice on late game situations so it was great to see them execute in those situations. It's neat to see how selfless this team has become. Whatever their role is, everyone is buying in and Maya was a tremendous example of that today after she fouled out and was still helping and giving instructions from the bench. Everyone is putting the team ahead of themselves."