Jessica Kuster Returns as Rice Beats Texas State 73-66

Christal Porter scored a career-high 18 points in the game vs. Texas State.

Dec. 16, 2011

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Houston - Jessica Kuster scored a team-high 20 points, while Brianna Hypolite and Christal Porter poured in 18 apiece to lead the Rice women's basketball team to a 73-66 victory over visiting Texas State, Friday night inside Tudor Fieldhouse.

Kuster also snared a game-high 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season in limited playing time (22 minutes).

Said Rice head coach Greg Williams, "It was nice to get Jessica Kuster back. We had to limit her minutes around the 20 mark and she had a great stat line. "

For Porter, the 18 points scored is a career-high who also celebrated her birthday today. She even contributed 6 rebounds and 2 steals the Rice's effort.

"Christal Porter was huge for us off the bench to get the numbers that she put up, with a great shooting percentage (7-9; .778)," stated Williams.

Due to final exams, this was the Owls' first game since the Oregon State game on Dec. 3. Kuster had missed that game and the Dec. 2 contest vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi since injuring her foot vs. UALR (Nov. 26).

"I was happy with effort in practice after having 10 days off due to final exams," commented Williams. "I was concerned about our conditioning and they held their own in that regard. This was the first game that we have had with all 14 players available to play.

Diamond Ford scored a game-high 28 points for the Bobcats. Demi Clinch added 11 points, while Ashley Ezeh had a game-high 13 rebounds with 8 points for Texas State.

With Kuster back in the lineup after a two-game absence due to a foot injury, the Owls got off to a great start with an early 7-0 lead. Kuster scored Rice's first 5 points of the contest and actually scored 9 of the Owls' first 13 points as Rice led 13-5 (13:27).

Texas State (4-4) tried to battle back but the trifecta of Kuster, Hypolite, and Porter proved too much in the first half with Rice (5-5) ahead 41-30 at the break.

A three-pointer by Clinch, brought TSU to within 5 at 65-60 with 1:35 to play, but Porter countered with a three-point play to give the Owls a 68-60 lead. Rice then made 5 of 8 free throws in the final 32 seconds to secure the game.

Rice is next in action when it plays at Stephen F. Austin State on Tuesday, December 20 at 7 p.m. in Nacogdoches, Texas.





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