Jan. 22, 2012
Houston - The duo of Brianna Hypolite and Jessica Kuster scored 14 and 13 points respectively to lead the Rice Owls women's basketball team to a convincing 72-43 win over Southern Miss Sunday afternoon inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
The 72 points scored by Rice (9-10, 3-3) are the most it has scored in a Conference USA game this season. Furthermore, the 29-point margin of victory is the largest for Rice in a C-USA game this season and is the second-highest margin for the year. The Owls previously defeated HBU by 33 points (75-42) on November 16.
The Owls were behind early 6-5 at 16:32, but then went on a 22-2 run that was capped by a trey from Hypolite to put the Owls in front at 26-8. Rice was able to hold the Lady Eagles scoreless for over nine minutes of action from 16:32 to 6:54. In that span, Southern Miss committed eight turnovers and miss fired on all seven of its field goal attempts as well as two free throws.
Southern Miss rallied late and scored the last nine points of the half to be down 30-21. The Lady Eagles committed 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, but did shoot 45 percent from the field (10-22). Rice's scrappy and tough defense contributed to nine steals in the first-half. The Owls were led in scoring by Kuster's nine points, while Hypolite and Jessica Goswitz added seven points apiece.
Rice continued its strong play in the second-half as it outscored the Lady Eagles 18 to 5 in the first 7:32 for a 48-26 margin. The Owls outscored Southern Miss 42 to 22 in the second-half and scored 35 points off of 26 Lady Eagle turnovers for the game.
Rice head coach Greg Williams was able to utilize his bench throughout the second half and saw it produce 36 points.
"I thought that we had a really good team effort with balanced scoring which is something that we love to have," stated Williams. "Our defensive effort was very good and when you hold a team to 43 points you have to be happy about that.
"Amenemope McKinney off the bench and provided high energy, Maya Adetula had her best game in a long time off the bench, and Christal Porter continues to come off the bench and spark us and give us some inside physicality and scoring."
Balanced scoring for the Owls came in the form of nine points by Jessica Goswitz and Amenemope McKinney, while Christal Porter tallied eight points and Maya Adetula added seven points. Owl point guard D'Frantz Smart dished a game-high seven assists and had four of Rice's 17 steals on the day. Kuster registered seven rebounds for a team-high total.
Southern Miss' Jamierra Faulkner led her squad with 13 points and six assists, while Tanecka Carey added 11 points. Niesha Pierce snared seven rebounds to pace USM on the boards.
Rice is back in action at home on Thursday, January 26 when it meets East Carolina (6-12, 0-5). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.