Jan. 12, 2012
Houston - Senior Brianna Hypolite scored a game-high 25 points to power the Rice Owls women's basketball team to a convincing 67-49 victory over Tulane Thursday night inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice evens its record to 8-8 and 2-1 in Conference USA play, while the Green Wave suffers its fourth loss of the season with 12 victories and is 1-2 in C-USA action.
Hypolite's 25-point output is her second-highest scoring game of the season. The Dickinson, Texas, product previously scored 29 points at SFA. Against Tulane, Hypolite made 10-14 from the field, 3-3 from three-point range, and 2-2 at the free throw line. She also had three steals and three assists.
Also in double-digit scoring for the Owls was sophomore Jessica Kuster. Kuster tallied 15 points, with six rebounds and protected the basket with three blocked shots. Candace Ashford was productive with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds. Point guard D'Frantz Smart was pesky with a game-high five steals and seven assists.
Tulane was led by Olivia Grayson's 14 points, while Brett Benzio added 12 points. Grayson, along with Adesuwa Ebomwony, had a game-high eight rebounds.
Rice started the game with an early 10-6 lead, but Tulane hung tough and battled back to take a 13-12 lead. Owl freshman Megan Shafer then hit a trey and a mid-ranger jumper to give Rice the lead at 17-13. Rice had made baskets by Maya Adetula, Jessica Kuster, and three-pointer by Smart that pushed the Owls' lead to seven at 24-17 (3:36).
Rice actually closed out the half by scoring the last 10 points as Hypolite hit a three and a jumper, followed by a Kuster three-pointer from the top of the key, and a basket by Candace Ashford with four seconds on the clock gave Rice a 34-19 margin at the break
The Owls continued their onslaught by outscoring Tulane 11-4 (45-23) to open the second half at 14:59 that was capped by another Hypolite three-pointer, which gave her 20 points on the night.
Tulane mounted another comeback after being down 47-25 (14:07) by outscoring Rice 16 to 6 to be behind 13 (53-41) at 6:15. The Tulane threat was thwarted as Ashford made a free throw, that was followed by another three-pointer from Hypolite , then Maduka converted a lay up to put the Owls up 59-41 with 3:53 to play.
Rice made 6-14 from three-point range and 11-12 at the free throw line. Tulane was 1-11 from beyond the arc. Rice shot a season-high 48 percent (25-52) from the field. Conversely, Tulane shot a miserable 26.7 percent (16-60). That percentage is a season-low for a Rice opponent.
The Owls now play at Tulsa on Sunday, January 15 at 2 p.m.
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