Jan. 25, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jessica Kuster recorded her 16th double-double of the season but the Rice Owls were unable to muster enough offense in a 58-53 loss to the Charlotte 49ers Saturday evening at the Dale F. Halton Arena.
Rice (10-9, 3-3) shot just 32 percent for the game, 27 percent in the second half, while dropping their second straight game. Charlotte (10-9, 4-2) won the first-ever meeting in the series by outscoring the Owls 34-25 in the second half after Rice took a 28-24 lead into the break.
Kuster scored 27 points and totaled 12 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double and the 57th of her career. Her performance came on the heels of a season-low 11 points against East Carolina on Wednesday.
The San Antonio, Texas native, who averages a team-best 20.3 points per game, is now just 14 points away from breaking the Rice career scoring record held by Pat Krieger (1,851 points).
The 49ers were led in scoring by Ny Hammonds (16 points) and Gabby Tyler (14 points), each of which scored a majority of their points in the paint where Charlotte held a 32-28 advantage.
Kuster carried the Owls in the first 20 minutes, connecting on 8-of-12 shots from the field for a game-high 16 points along with eight rebounds en route to a 28-24 lead going into halftime. Rice led for all but the first 1:29 of the opening half thanks to a sizzling performance from Kuster and a total team effort on the offensive glass. Rice outrebounded Charlotte 25-18 overall, which included 11 boards on the offensive end.
Porter joined Kuster as the only Owls to score for the first 17:45 of the half, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds. Goodwine came off the bench to score four points over the final two minutes, including a layup just before time expired to end the half.
Rice will look to get back in the win column on Wednesday, Jan. 29 when they host Tulane (13-5, 4-1) at 7 p.m.