Dec. 29, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas – Jessica Kuster scored 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds, to help lead the Rice Owls to a 67-64 victory at Lamar Sunday afternoon at the Montagne Center.
Kuster recorded her 10th double-double of the season and the 50th of her career in helping the Owls even their season record at 6-6. Reem Moussa (12 points) and Jasmine Goodwine (13 points) joined Kuster in double-figures. Moussa made 4-of-5 attempts from the field, including two made three-pointers, and led the Owls with five assists in 33 minutes. Goodwine established a career-high in points in just 22 minutes off the bench, making 6-of-9 attempts from the floor and scoring 10 critical second half points.
The two teams played to 12 ties and 10 lead changes before Rice pulled away in the closing minutes. Goodwine put the Owls ahead for good with 2:38 to go on a layup off an assist from Maya Hawkins, giving Rice a 63-62 lead. After a Kuster jumper gave Rice a brief 65-62 edge, Lamar’s Gia Ayers made a layup and was fouled to trim the deficit to 65-64 but missed the tying free throw.
That gave Rice an opportunity to run clock and take a shot close to the final horn and Kuster took advantage of the opportunity, sinking a pull-up jumper with eight seconds remaining and giving the Owls a 65-62 advantage. Lamar then was unable to get off a final shot after a timeout as time expired.
The Owls outscored Lamar (5-6) 35-29 in the second half by shooting 52 percent in the final 20 minutes and won on the road despite committing a season-high 27 turnovers. Rice outscored the opposing bench for a sixth consecutive game, 22-13.
Lamar was led in scoring by Dominique Edwards, who scored a game-high 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting.
Turnovers plagued the Owls in the first half, committing 13 giveaways that resulted in 17 Lamar points. The Lady Cardinals closed the final 1:30 of the half on a 6-0 run to take a 35-32 lead into halftime. Rice shots 39 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes and were led in scoring by Nakachi Maduka (8 points).
Rice outrebounded the Lady Cardinals 25-17 in the first half led by seven boards from Kuster. Lamar was led in scoring by Shauna Long (9 points) in the first half, who came off the bench to provide the Lady Cardinals an offensive spark. Lamar outscored Rice 20-12 in the paint and shot 40 percent from the floor.
The Owls will return to action on Friday, Jan. 3 when they host new Southland Conference member Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.