Nov. 21, 2013
HOUSTON - Jessica Kuster recorded her second-career 20-point, 20-rebound performance with 26 points and a career-high tying 21 rebounds to help lead the Rice Owls women's basketball team to a 77-64 victory Thursday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (3-2) snapped a mini two-game losing streak by shooting a season-high 51 percent from the field while holding Southern (2-2) to just 33 percent shooting.
Kuster shot just 6-of-17 from the floor but made up for that by getting to the free throw line 17 times and converting on 14 of them. The senior from San Antonio, Texas snagged 21 rebounds while playing the entire 40 minutes, tying for the second-best single-game rebounding performance in Rice history with Amelia Cooper (21 vs. McNeese State, 1988) and herself (21 at UTSA, 2011).
Jasmine Jefferson led the Jaguars with 14 points while Britney Washington chipped in 13.
Rice outscored Southern 39-30 in the second half and outscored the Jaguars 13-6 over the final five minutes to break open just a 64-58 advantage with just under five minutes to play.
The Owls got off to perhaps their best offensive start in any game this season, making eight of their first 10 shots en route to an 18-10 lead. During that stretch the Owls assisted on six of the eight made shots. Rice built a first half lead as large as 38-24 with just 1:57 remaining before Southern responded with a 10-0 run of their own to cut the lead to just 38-34 going into halftime.
Kuster recorded her double-double in the first 20 minutes with a team-best 10 points and 10 rebounds. Moussa chipped in eight points on 2-of-3 shooting and 4-of-4 at the free throw line and Maduka scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting.
The Owls were outscored 16-5 off the bench by the Jaguars, which included a team-high seven points from Washington. Southern shot just 38 percent from the field in the opening half but made up for it with a 7-of-8 performance at the charity stripe.
Rice will make a quick turnaround when they travel to East Lansing, Michigan on Saturday to face No. 21 Michigan State (3-1). That game is set to tipoff at 6:30 p.m. (CT).
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