Jan. 3, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas – Three Rice Owls scored in double-figures, and Jessica Kuster recorded her 11th double-double of the season in a 72-57 non-conference finale victory Friday evening over Incarnate Word at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (7-6) pulled above .500 for the first time since Nov. 21 by dominating the interior, both on the glass and in the paint. The Owls outscored UIW (6-6) 44-18 in the paint and won the rebounding advantage 48-26.
Kuster, who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, made a field goal with 48 seconds remaining in the game that moved her past Lauren Neaves (2003-0, 1,711 points) for third place on the Rice all-time scoring list with 1,712 career points. Kuster also moved past Marla Brumfield (1997-2000, 1,703 points) for fourth place all-time in the early stages of the game.
The senior had plenty of help on Friday, as freshman Jasmine Goodwine established a career-high in scoring for a second straight outing with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in just 22 minutes off the bench. Junior Christal Porter nearly recorded her first double-double of the season (17 points, 9 rebounds) after going scoreless in the Owls previous game against Lamar.
Rice shot 45 percent from the field for the game and made a season-best 14-of-15 at the free throw line (93 percent) and won the battle of the bench (34-3) for a seventh straight game.
UIW was led in scoring by Rose Whitehead, who finished with 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting.
Rice looked poised to run away from the Lady Cardinals in the first half, jumping out to a lead as large as 25-9 at the 7:36 mark. However, UIW closed the final seven minutes strong by outscoring the Owls 16-8 the rest of the way.
Kuster led Rice with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting followed by seven points from Christal Porter. The Owls shot 40 percent from the field compared to just 28 percent from UIW while Rice connected on all nine of their free throw attempts.
UIW’s Ifunanya Mora and Joslinn Mora each scored nine points apiece in the first 20 minutes and the Lady Cardinals made 9-of-12 attempts at the charity stripe.