March 7, 2013
HOUSTON-Rice's women's basketball team upset C-USA Champion SMU 58-46 on Senior Night at Tudor Fieldhouse. Jessica Kuster posted a double double with 15 points and 18 rebounds.
"Just a tremendous effort by the Owls tonight," said Rice head coach Greg Williams. "Tremendous effort defensively for our team, and hopefully this will give us positive momentum going into the conference tournament."
SMU (21-8, 12-4 C-USA) led by as many as eight in the first half, but a 3-pointer by Jessica Goswitz, playing in her last home game at Tudor Fieldhouse, cut the deficit to two points with 48 seconds left in the half. The Mustangs scored the last basket of the half to take a 24-20 lead into the break.
Down 25-22, and in the midst of what would become an 11-1 run to start the half, Jessica Kuster hit a put-back layup after an offensive board, stole a pass on SMU's next possession, and found Christal Porter on the fast break for the assist, as the Owls went ahead 26-25.
Rice (14-15, 6-10 C-USA) expanded the lead to 31-25 before the Mustangs scored again, and led by as many as 18 in the second frame before coasting to a 58-46 win.
Kuster posted her 15th double double of the season with 15 points, off of only nine field goal attempts, and 18 rebounds, one off of her season-high. She moves into fourth on Rice's career free throws made list with 385 for her career.
Nakachi Maduka led the Owls with 16 points and seven rebounds, just two points shy of her career-high, set on Feb. 28 at UTEP. Maduka guarded C-USA's second-leading scorer, Keena Mays, for most of the night, holding Mays to 2-of-20 shooting and matching her season-low with six points.
Porter posted another fine performance with 12 points and seven rebounds, marking the fifth time in six games she has reached double figures in scoring. She matched her career-high with three assists.
The Owls enter the C-USA Tournament as the No. 11 seed, and play on Wednesday, Mar. 13 against No. 6 seed Tulsa at 5 p.m.