Jan. 18, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas – For a second straight year the Rice Owls women’s basketball team took down Marshall in overtime, outscoring the Thundering Herd 9-3 in the extra frame en route to a 74-68 win Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
With the victory, Rice (10-7, 3-1) is off to their best start in Conference USA play since joining the league in 2005 and have now won six of their last eight contests dating back to Dec. 5.
Senior forward Jessica Kuster continued her amazing season with her 14th double-double of the season, registering a game-high 26 points and 17 rebounds. A game after becoming the Owls all-time leading rebounder the San Antonio, Texas native moved into second place on the school’s all-time scoring list by surpassing former Rice standout Holly Jones (1,791 points).
Kuster, who now has 1,800 career points, needs just 52 more points to surpass Rice all-time leading scorer Pat Krieger (1,851 points, 1979-82).
Kuster had plenty of help on Saturday as freshman point guard Maya Hawkins scored a career-best 20 points and made 6-of-13 from three-point territory, just one off the school record for a single-game.
Marshall (7-10, 0-4) lost their fourth consecutive game despite having three player reach double-figures in scoring.
In a game that saw 12 ties and 14 lead changes, it was Marshall who had a lead with just under two minutes to go in regulation when Leah Scott gave the Herd a 63-61 advantage with 1:42 to go. However, Kuster tied the game again just 25 seconds later on a layup. Scott then drew a trip to the free throw line and made both with 1:09 to help Marshall regain a 65-63 edge.
After an Owls turnover Marshall had an opportunity to put the game away but Rice came up with a stop and Kuster snagged the defensive rebounds and was fouled with 29 seconds remaining. The senior proceeded to hit two clutch free throws to tie the game 65-65 and then Marshall was unable to get a decent look at the regulation buzzer.
In overtime Hawkins gave the Owls the lead for good with her six three-pointer of the night at the 4:31 mark, which was the beginning of a 7-0 run that Rice carried to the victory.
Rice won for just the second time this season when trailing at halftime and made a season-high eight three-pointers as a team.
Marshall took a 30-26 lead into halftime after a first half in which they shot 57 percent from the field and limited the Owls to just a 36 percent clip. Kuster led all scorers with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting along with eight rebounds.
The Thundering Herd pounded the ball inside, outscoring Rice 20-0 in the paint in the first 20 minutes and had a 22-3 discrepancy in bench scoring.
Rice will next embark on a six-day road trip which opens up Wednesday, Jan. 22 at East Carolina before traveling to Charlotte on Saturday, Jan. 25. The Owls will return home to face Tulane on Jan. 29 for a 7 p.m. tipoff.