Jan. 28, 2012
Houston - Jessica Kuster posted her ninth double-double of the season to lead the Rice Owls to a 58-50 victory at Houston Saturday afternoon inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Owls have now won three consecutive games.
Kuster scored a game-high 19 points and snared a game-high 16 rebounds to help head coach Greg Williams win his 100th victory as coach of the Owls. She also had four steals and a blocked shot on the day.
Rice (11-10, 5-3) scored the first bucket of the contest and led the whole game. The Owls forced 11 UH turnovers in the first-half and they nailed five three-pointers, three of which were by junior guard Jessica Goswitz to lead at the break by a 30-22 count.
Kuster scored nine of Rice's first 11 points to start the second-half to give Rice a commanding 41-26 lead (13:16). Another trey by Goswitz and a Kuster rebound basket put the Owls up by 20 (50-30) with 9:04 to play.
However, UH (2-17, 1-6) did not cave in. The Cougars proceeded to go on a 16-2 run to cut the lead to six with 1:45 to play. Goswitz then calmly sanked four straight free throws to give the Owls breathing room (56-47). Kuster converted two more free throws for the final score. All told, Kuster scored 15 of Rice's 28 points in the second-half.
The Rice defense, particularly Goswitz and Amenemope McKinney, did an excellent job in holding Conference USA's leading scorer, Roxana Button, to only nine points. Button finished the contest by shooting 3-19 from the field.
Goswitz finished the game with a season-high 16 points. Owl senior post player Candace Ashford tied her career-high with 13 points with nine boards. Ashford led the Owls early in the ball game with 11 points in the first-half. Guard D'Frantz Smart had eight rebounds to go with a game-high three assists.
Houston was led in scoring by Amanda Lawson and Terran Alford, who had 10 points apiece. Lawson also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.
The Owls hit the road next week when they play at Marshall on Thursday, February 2 at 6 p.m. (CT).