Nov. 11, 2011
Prairie View, Texas - Prairie View A&M outscored Rice 11 to 5 to finish the game for a 61-58 victory at the William Nicks Building Friday night.
Jessica Kuster had 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Owls (0-1). D'Frantz Smart had 11 points and 4 assists and freshman Christal Porter scored 9 points and pulled in 6 rebounds. Rice was only 18-31 (58 percent) at the free throw line and committed 25 turnovers on the evening.
Kuster's 18 rebounds is her second-most in her career. She had 20 rebounds last season vs. UAB (Jan. 23) and 18 at Northwestern State (Dec. 28).
The Panthers were led by Chelsea Azore's 14 points, while Kiara Etienne added 13 points. Jeannette Jackson scored 11 points and Latia Williams contributed 10 points. PVAM shot 43 percent from the field to Rice's 32 percent (17-54).
Prairie View A&M (1-0) started the second half on a 10-0 run to forge a 39-32 lead. Kuster then scored 9 of Rice's first 11 points in second half to bring the Owls to within two at 45-43. A trey by Maya Adetula cut the PVAM deficit to 47-46. Rice scored 7 consecutive points, the last a made free throw by Smart to give the Owls a 53:50 lead (3:48). But, PVAM answered by scoring 8 straight points of its own to recapture the lead for good.
The Owls, however, did not give up. A Megan Shafer trey at the 18.5 mark from the left wing brought Rice to within one at 58-57. After a made free throw by PVAM, Shafer then made one of two free throws with 3.4 on the clock to make it 59-58. Etienne than made two free throws for the Panthers with 2.5 on the clock for a 61-58 margin and Smart's heave just past the 10 second line on the Owls side just missed its mark.
The Owls were down 25-24 but outscored the Panthers 8 to 5 for a 32-29 halftime lead. Smart and Kuster led Rice with 10 and 9 points respectively. Kuster also had 9 rebounds at the break.
Rice now prepares for Sunday's game at Oklahoma State (2 p.m.) in Stillwater, Okla.