Lamar Tops Rice 61-54

Brianna Hypolite.

Jan. 2, 2012

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Beaumont, Texas - Lamar's Kalis Loyd scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Cardinals to a 61-54 win over Rice Monday night at the Montagne Center.

Rice falls to 6-7 on the year, while Lamar improves to 8-6. This was the Owls' last non-conference game of the season.

Brianna Hypolite led the Owls in scoring with 15 points, while Jessica Kuster followed with 14 points and a game-high 9 rebounds. Amenemope McKinney came off the bench to tally 9 points with 8 rebounds and Candace Ashford scored 7 points with 8 rebounds.

Monique Whitaker scored 14 points for the Cardinals and Loyd along with Danielle Heithoff each snared 9 rebounds. Lamar shot 35.5 percent (22-62) from the field toRice's 32.2 percent (19-59). The Owls were 11-22 from the free throw line, while Lamar canned 9-11 at the charity stripe.

The Cardinals began the game by scoring first eight points of the game and led 15-4 at the first media timeout (15:54). Rice started the contest 2-7 from the field with three turnovers, while Lamar nailed seven of its first nine field goal attempts in the first four minutes.

Rice then exhibited more energy as it went on a 13-3 run to cut the deficit to one at 18-17 on a trey by Candace Ashford at 12:09. Buckets by Nakachi Maduka and Jessica Kuster gave the Owls their first lead of the game at 23-22 (10:40).

Lamar led at the break 37-33 as it made 41.2 percent (14-34) from the field to Rice's 32.4 percent (12-37).

After an Ashford basket that brought the Owls to within two at 41-39 (15:00) in the second-half, Lamar went on a 10-2 run to forge a 51-41 lead (9:31)

Rice was then scoreless from the field for nine minutes as its only points came at the free throw with four made freebies. D'Frantz Smart canned a three-pointer from the right wing at 6:03 to put an end to the field goal drought and to make the score 53-46.

Two Hypolite lay-ups brought the Owls to within three at 55-52 (2:44), but Lamar's Careen Baylor answered by draining a three-pointer to give the Cardinals cushion at 58-52. Two more free throws by McKinney closed out the scoring for the Owls.

Rice now plays at UAB on Thursday, January 5 at 7 p.m. and then hosts SMU on Sunday, January 8 (2 p.m.).





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