Owls Rally to Beat SMU 56-54
Kuster 16 Points and 16 Rebounds
Jan. 8, 2012
Houston - Sophomore Brittany Carter converted a fast break lay up with eight seconds to play to give the Rice Owls a 56-54 come-from-behind victory over Conference USA rival SMU Sunday afternoon in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice finished the game by scoring the final eight points of the contest. The win gives Rice a 7-8 overall record and a 1-1 slate in C-USA. SMU, meanwhile, falls to 7-8 on the season and 0-2 in league action.
Rice's Jessica Kuster led all scorers with her eight double-double of the season with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard D'Frantz Smart scored a season-high 15 points with five assists and five rebounds. Carter finished the contest with 6 points and two rebounds in 13 minutes of action in the second half. Freshman Christal Porter came off the bench to tally seven points and she also snared nine rebounds.
After falling behind 18-12 (7:36), the duo of Jessica Kuster and Amenemope McKinney got the Owls back in business with each scoring three buckets, the last by McKinney put Rice ahead 23-22 (3:28). SMU then ended the half on a 10-3 run capped by two three-pointers by Alisha Filmore and Kristin Hernandez.
Rice whittled an eight-point deficit (43-35) and the tied the game at 46-46 three straight baskets by Nakachi Maduka, Jessica Kuster, and left-handed layup by Brittany Carter with 5:39 to play and forcing a SMU timeout.
The Mustangs then countered with a mini 5-0 run for a 51-46 margin. Two free throws by Kuster brought Rice to within three at 51-48 (3:56). SMU's Hernandez nailed a three-pointer with the shot clock nearing zero to give the Mustangs a 54-48 lead at 3:33.
A basket by Smart and two free throws from Kuster made it 54-52 in favor of SMU (1:30). A rebound basket by Rice's Christal Porter tied the contest at 54 with 38 seconds to play.
After a missed field goal by SMU's Hernandez, there was a prolonged wild scramble for the loose ball which found itself in the hands of the Owls' Amenemope McKinney, who then fed a nice pass to Brittany Carter for the game-winning lay up with eight seconds to play. Filmore's three-pointer at :04 missed the mark and the Owls were able to win their first C-USA game of the season.
The Owls were able to win despite shooting 30.4 percent from the field (21-69), but were able to make their free throws on the day by going 11 for 12 at the line. Conversely, SMU only made 5 of 13 free throw attempts and were 3 of 9 in the second half.
Alisha Filmore led the Mustangs with 12 points, while Akil Simpson had seven points and 12 rebounds. SMU shot 38.3 percent from the field (23-60).
Rice now hosts Tulane on Thursday, January 12 at 7 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.