Nov. 26, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas – The Rice Owls women’s basketball team dropped their first home game of the season Tuesday evening, a 79-74 heartbreaker in overtime at the hands of the Sam Houston State Bearkats.
Rice (3-4) rallied from a nine-point late second half deficit to tie the game in regulation with six seconds remaining on a deep three-pointer from Breion Allen to force overtime but were outscored 13-8 in the extra period by the Bearkats.
Jessica Kuster led the Owls in scoring once again with 22 points and collected 15 rebounds for her nation-leading seventh double-double of the season, all while playing the entire 45 minutes. Allen joined Kuster in double-figures with a career-high 12 points (4-of-5 from three-point territory) and Megan Palmer also scored in double-digits with 10 first half points.
However, the Owls were unable to slow down the combo of Sam Houston State’s Angela Beadle (30 points) and Jasmine Johnson (21 points). Beadle, who made 13-of-25 shots from the field and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, scored eight critical points in overtime to lead the Bearkats to a 4-2 record.
The Owls never led in overtime despite creeping as close as 73-71 with one minute remaining following a steal and put-back layup from Kuster. However, Beadle responded with a made layup of her own out of an inbounds play with 38 seconds remaining to push the lead back to 75-71 and the Bearkats closed the game out with free throws.
Rice made a dramatic comeback in the final minute of regulation. After a Christal Porter free throw trimmed the Owls deficit to 64-60 with 35 seconds left, Reem Moussa came up with a steal in the backcourt and it led to a made three-pointer from Allen to bring the Owls to within 64-63 with 31 seconds left.
Johnson then sank two free throws to push the lead back to 66-63 and leaving the Owls with one last possession to tie the game. Rice got two great looks from three-point territory but both Kuster and Porter’s shots were off the mark, however, the second miss glanced off a Bearkat and went out of bounds.
Allen took advantage of the extra opportunity by draining a 25-foot three-pointer with six seconds remaining to tie the game 66-66 and force overtime.
In the first half the Owls shot the ball well from the field (45 percent) but were unable to slow down a prolific shooting performance (53 percent) from the Bearkats. Rice jumped out to a 19-12 lead but the Bearkats caught fire from the 10-minute mark on, closing the first half on a 30-16 run.
Rice had trouble slowing down Beadle (15 points), who made 7-of-13 attempts from the field and Johnson (13 points), who knocked down 3-of-4 attempts from three-point territory. Kuster (12 points) and Palmer (10 points) kept the Owls afloat in the opening half by combining to make 8-of-15 shots from the floor.
The Owls will next embark on a Thanksgiving road trip that takes them to Boulder, Colorado to participate in the Omni Hotels Classic. Rice will first play on Friday at 6 p.m. against Samford and then play the winner of Colorado/South Alabama on Saturday at either 6 or 8 p.m. (CT).