Dec. 5, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - With a 14-day break on the horizon due to finals, the Rice women's basketball team entered their mini-break with a bit of momentum following a 74-61 victory over the Texas State Bobcats Thursday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (5-5) had tied a season-high with 10 different players registering points, including a game-high 19 from senior forward Jessica Kuster on 7-of-16 shooting from the floor and a 5-of-8 performance at the free throw line. Kuster also pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds to notch her nation-leading eighth of the season. The senior from San Antonio also entered play Thursday as the nation's leading total rebounder and only added to that.
The Owls shot 44 percent from the field for the game compared to just 34 percent from the Bobcats (1-6). Rice dominated the boards, 55-32, and won the bench scoring output for a fourth consecutive contest (40-20). The 40 points off the bench was a season-high and over those last four games the Owls have outscored the opponents bench by a whopping margin of 104-62.
Sophomore guard Elena Gumbs scored a season-high 12 points off the bench on 3-of-8 shooting from the field and made 4-of-4 at the charity stripe. Gumbs also hit a much-needed three-pointer after Texas State had cut the Owls lead to 60-55 with just 3:14 remaining and two seconds left on the shot clock. Gumbs also pulled down a career-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore post Alyssa Lang scored in double-figures off the bench with a career-high 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting and a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line.
Texas State was led in scoring by Ayriel Anderson (17 points) and Ashley Ezeh (12 points).
The Owls actually dug themselves a 9-0 deficit in the game's first three minutes before outscoring the Bobcats 34-9 the remaining 17 minutes. Rice held Texas State to an opponent's season-low 21.2 percent shooting from the field and got a well-balanced scoring attack from nine different players in the process.
Kuster nearly registered a double-double in the first half, scoring a team-best nine points while pulling down eight rebounds in 12 minutes of action. The Owls bench outscored Texas State's 19-3, led by five points apiece from Breion Allen and Jasmine Goodwine.
As a team Rice shot 46 percent (15-of-33) from the floor and dominated the boards, 30-19.
The Owls will now get an extended 14-day break for finals before returning to action again on Dec. 20 when they host Houston at 1 p.m.