Photo by Tommy LaVergne

SENIOR GUARD MAYA HAWKINS (shown here, being hugged by a smiling senior forward Jasmine Goodwine) had lots to celebrate after cinching the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) tournament’s MVP title.

“As a senior, your ultimate dream is to win your final game,” Hawkins said. “I think that’s what made our win and championship run so special — not only did we win our last game, but we were able to do so on our home court in front of our fans, friends and family.”

While the WBI championship was a highlight for the team, the 22–13 season wasn’t without its challenges — from travel issues and personal struggles to serious injuries, including a concussion endured by Goodwine, a starter and leading scorer.

“You can’t just wish your way to a championship. You work, you cry and you fight through tons of adversity, and you do it all together. That’s what makes you stronger,” said Tina Langley, the Rice women’s basketball head coach. “Our seniors poured their hearts and souls into this program, and we will proudly hang the WBI championship banner in their honor.”