Women's Basketball Puts Seven-Game Home Win Streak On Line Against Tulane

Nakachi Maduka scored 13 points in the Owls' last game against Tulsa.

Jan. 16, 2013

Tulane Green Wave (12-3, 1-1 C-USA) at Rice Owls (9-6, 1-1 C-USA)

Game 16 • Thursday, January 17, 2013 • 7 p.m.

Houston, Texas • Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750)
Audio: RiceOwls.com • TV: None

Series Record: Tulane leads 14-12

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The Last Meeting
February 16, 2012
New Orleans, La.
Tulane Squeaks By Rice 50-47 in Overtime
The Tulane Green Wave outscored Rice 9-6 in overtime for a 50-47 Conference USA women's basketball victory Thursday night in Fogelman Arena. Rice is now 12-13 on the year and 6-6 in C-USA. Tulane improves to 19-6 and 8-4 in league action. The Owls play at SMU on Sunday (Feb. 19) at noon. The contest will be televised by FSN.

Owls Put Seven-Game Home Win Streak On The Line Against Preseason Favorites

Rice, winners of seven straight at home, hosts Tulane, who was the coaches' pick to win C-USA in the preseason. The Owls are 1-1 in C-USA play, after defeating Tulsa by three on Sunday. Tulane enters the contest with a 6-0 record on the year away from home, and a 12-3 overall mark. Both teams enter having lost one game in C-USA play, and are looking to keep pace with the league leaders early in the season.

Briefly On The Owls

• The seven-game winning streak at Tudor Fieldhouse is the Owls' longest home winning streak since winning nine straight during 2009-10

• At eight wins, Rice tied the school record for wins entering conference play

Jessica Kuster is averaging 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds against the AP Top 25 this year

• Kuster is the only player in C-USA who is averaging a double double

Nakachi Maduka has made seven consecutive free throws, dating back to Dec. 30

• Rice ranked 110th in the RPI in the most recent report, which ranks ahead of schools such as Texas, Utah, Arizona and TCU.

Rice vs. Tulane

Rice and Tulane have met 14 times in the regular season and once in the C-USA Tournament since Rice joined the league in 2005-06, and the Owls have a slight 8-7 lead in that time period. The Owls and Green Wave have split their two meetings in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, with Rice sweeping in 2006 and the Green Wave taking two in 2010. The Owls beat the Green Wave in their only meeting in the C-USA Tournament, winning the C-USA Semifinal in 2007. The road team holds a 8-6 edge in the series in that time span.

Seven Straight At Tudor

Rice has won seven consecutive home games, dating back to Dec. 1, which currently ranks as the 8th-longest home winning streak in school history. It is the Owls' longest win streak since 2009-10.

Rank First Win Last Win Rec. Notes

1 Feb. 8, 1996 Dec. 5, 1999 17-0 3 seasons ... def. #16 Hawaii, #18 Utah

2 Jan. 3, 2003 Jan. 27, 2005 14-0 2 seasons ... def. #8 La. Tech

3 Dec. 28, 2001 Dec. 6, 2003 11-0 2 seasons ... def. Notre Dame, #7 LT
4 Dec. 4, 2009 Jan. 30, 2010 9-0 Includes 4 C-USA wins

Dec. 11, 1999 Mar. 2, 2000 9-0 def. Texas A&M

6 Feb. 29, 1992 Jan. 6, 1993 8-0 2 seasons ... includes 2 SWC wins

Nov. 25, 1988 Jan. 7, 1989 8-0 def. Texas Tech in SWC play

8 Dec. 8, 2006 Feb. 1, 2007 7-0 Includes 5 C-USA wins

Feb. 4, 2001 Dec. 1, 2002 7-0 2 seasons ... def. #22 G. Washington

Dec. 1, 2012 -- 7-0 Active

Rice Finishes Strong Against Texas A&M

Rice fell down early to Texas A&M, but outscored the No. 24 team in the nation 44-43 over the last 26:54 of the game. Rice had a 10-2 run between halves to help them in the overall 44-43 run. Jessica Kuster had 13 points in the last 26:54, and the Owls matched the Aggies over the course of the game with 37 total rebounds.

Owls Tie Best Mark Entering Conference Play

Rice tied the school record for wins entering conference play. The Owls have won eight games before conference play five times in their history.

Year Rec. Finish Remaining Non-Conference Play

1988-89 8-1 14-13 1-0 vs. UMKC in Mar.

1993-94 8-4 13-14 0-1 SWC Tourn.

2012-13 8-5 -- C-USA Tourn.
1999-00 8-5 22-10 3-0 WAC Tourn., 1-1 NCAA

2010-11 8-6 18-14 0-1 C-USA Tourn., 0-1 WNIT

Rice posted a 10-2 non-conference record in 1992-93, but was 7-2 at the time of its conference opener

A December To Remember

Rice went 6-0 in the month of December, giving the Owls their first perfect December in program history. The Owls' last perfect month was February 2005, when the Owls went 7-0.

Owls' Six-Game Win Streak Ranked As Division I's 12th-Best

Rice has won six consecutive games from Dec. 1 to Dec. 30, which was the 12th-longest active Division I winning streak when it was snapped on Jan. 1 at Texas A&M. It was Rice's longest winning streak since a nine game win streak in 2005-06.

Kuster Named College Sports Madness C-USA Player of the Week (Dec. 31)

Jessica Kuster averaged 19.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while posting her 34th and 35th career double-doubles in two Rice victories to be named C-USA Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Dec. 31. She scored 18 points against UTPA, shooting 50% from the floor in the Rice blowout win. She helped Rice come back from 13 down to beat Lamar, scoring 21 points and grabbing 18 rebounds, the second-most in the league this season, next to her 19 rebounds at Texas State. She played the entire duration of the game against Lamar. She rebounded 32% of all misses off of the opposing glass in those two games.

Championship Pedigree

Rice played three of the last four schools to win a national championship in 2012-13, having lost to 2007 and 2008 champion Tennessee on Nov. 15, 2012 champion Baylor on Nov. 27 and 2011 champion Texas A&M on Jan. 1. Rice does not play UConn, who won the 2009 and 2010 titles.

Comeback Owls

Rice has had three come-from-behind (6+ points down) wins this season, coming back from down 31-20 to defeat McNeese State on Dec. 1, erasing a 31-22 deficit against UTSA on Dec. 20, and battling back from a 48-35 disadvantage to beat Lamar on Dec. 30. The Owls' 13-point comeback on Dec. 30 was the largest Rice comeback since Jan. 11, 2007, when Rice came back from down 54-40 against Marshall.

Rice Ranks Second In C-USA In RPI

Rice ranks 104th nationally and second in C-USA in the RPI as of the most recent report (Jan. 6), behind UTEP. Nationally, Rice ranks ahead of other notable schools such as Texas, Utah, Arizona and TCU.

Palmer Named C-USA Freshman Of The Week (Dec. 17)

Megan Palmer was named C-USA Freshman of the Week for averaging 17 points and nine rebounds in two Owl victories. She had her second straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Chicago State, in just 27 minutes of play, then posted a 20 point, seven rebound, three assist and four block performance against Stephen F. Austin, picking up the first four blocks of her career.

Autry Army

Rice is 34-15 since 2009-10 at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls were 13-3 at home in the calendar year of 2012 and 8-1 in the 2012-13 season, with the only loss coming to No. 3 Baylor.

Palmer Making An Impact

Megan Palmer scored 24 points against McNeese State, the most points scored by a Rice freshman since Dec. 30, 2010 when Jessica Kuster scored 26 at Texas State. She is averaging 11.5 points per game, which would be the most for a Rice freshman since Kuster in 2010-11 and the second-most in the Greg Williams era (since 2005-06).

Rice Against Top Mid-Majors

Rice has faced two ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll. UALR, who defeated Rice on Nov. 24, is currently ranked 16th in the poll, and McNeese State, who Rice beat on Dec. 1 was ranked 17th at the time.

Can't Stop Griner...But Everyone Else?

Rice fell to No. 3 Baylor on Nov. 27, in large part due to national player of the year Brittney Griner. The Bears outscored Rice 59-22 when Griner was on the court, but the Bears only were a possesion better than Rice at 30-27, during the nearly 18 minutes Griner was on the bench.

Griner's Return To Houston

Baylor senior Brittney Griner, a native of Houston, returned home on Nov. 27 with her Bear teammates to take on the Owls at Tudor Fieldhouse, an 89-49 victory for No. 3 Baylor. The teams played in front of a Tudor Fieldhouse record 2,318 fans.

Playing Into March

Since entering C-USA in 2005-06, Rice has the most postseason appearances of any C-USA school, having reached the postseason in four seasons (2006, 2006, 2011, 2012). Memphis, SMU, and Tulane have reached the postseason three times since 2005-06, and 11 of the 12 C-USA schools have reached the postseason at least once.

Baylor Game Sets Attendance Record

The Tudor Fieldhouse attendance record for women's basketball was set on Nov. 27, when No. 3 Baylor visited the Owls and 2,318 fans attended. It was the largest Rice home crowd for women's basketball since Feb. 22, 1998, when a school-record 3,704 fans came to Autry Court to see Rice upset No. 16 Hawai'i 76-71.

Eyes On The Owls

On Nov. 15, 10,981 fans saw the Rice Owls take on Tennessee in Thompson-Boling Arena, the largest crowd to watch a Rice women's basketball game since Nov. 22, 2004, when 11,876 fans saw Rice take on Texas Tech.

O wls Start Strong Against Lady Vols

Despite falling in the contest 101-48, Rice scared No. 24 Tennessee, leading the Lady Vols until the 9:05 mark of the first half. Rice and Tennessee traded baskets for the first three possessions, before the Owls took the lead at 8-6 with 17:25 remaining in the first half. The Owls led by as much as 6, at 22-16. Jessica Kuster at several points had as many points as the entire Lady Vol team, starting the game 5-for-5 with 12 points. The Lady Vols took the lead at 23-22 with a Cierra Burdick jumper and did not trail afterwards.

Kuster Reaches 1,000 Points

Jessica Kuster became the 18th Rice player to reach 1,000 points in a career with 16 points against Tennessee on Nov. 15. She is the eighth Rice player to have reached the 1,000 point plateau in her junior season. Morgan Mayse was the last Rice player to reach 1,000 points, accomplishing the feat in 2010-11. At two games into her 3rd season, she is the quickest Rice player to reach 1,000 points.

Tournament Tested

Rice plays seven teams from last season's NCAA Tournament field a total of eight times, and has a total of 11 games against postseason participants from a year ago. Prairie View A&M, Tennessee, UALR, Baylor, McNeese St., Texas A&M, and UTEP reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12

Rice Ninth-Youngest Team In Division I

Rice is tied for the ninth-youngest team in Division 1 in terms of years of senior college experience. The Owls have 13 years of experience among the 12 players on the roster, the youngest average experience in C-USA.

Youngest Teams In Division I (By Years of Collegiate Experience)

Rank School Avg. Exp. Players

1. San Jose State .444 4 9

2. Temple .727 8 11

Southern Illinois .727 8 11

4. Clemson .833 10 12

Florida .909 10 11

6. Dayton 1.000 12 12

Southern Miss 1.091 12 11

Tennessee 1.091 12 11

9. Rhode Island 1.000 13 13

Cal State Fullerton 1.000 13 13

Rice 1.083 13 12

Rice At Tennessee In Historic Game

On Nov. 15, Rice opened a new era in women's basketball, as the Owls faced Tennessee in the Lady Vols' first home game since 1973 with someone other than Pat Summitt coaching the team. Holly Warlick, a long-time Summit assistant and player, takes over the helm for the Lady Vols. Summit, one of the legends of collegiate athletics, won six national titles before stepping down after 2011-12 due to her battle with Alzheimer's.

Senior Reward

For the second consecutive year, Rice took a senior to her hometown to play a non-conference game. Jessica Goswitz of Knoxville's Webb School played in front of 60 friends and family members at Tennessee on Nov. 15. D'Frantz Smart, currently a student assistant for the Owls, played in front of her family at Chicago State last season, a 77-50 win for the Owls. The product of Chicago's Whitney Young High School had five assists and eight steals in that game. All of Rice's other seniors since 2010-11 have been from Texas.

Kuster Named Preseason Player of the Year

Rice junior Jessica Kuster was named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, as voted upon by the league's coaches. The selection is Kuster's second straight appearance on the Preseason All-C-USA Team. Kuster is the first Rice player to be named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year since Lauren Neaves prior to the 2005-06 season. In the same poll, the Owls were picked to finish fourth in the league by the league's coaches.

Rice On The TV

Rice plays two games on television this year. The Feb. 10 game against Houston is televised on Fox Sports Net, and the Feb. 28 game at UTEP is on CBS Sports Network.

The First Time Since

Accomplishments Rice has acheived in 2012-13 for the first time since: (2012-13 accomplishment)

2010-11: Won eight games prior to conference play (8-5)

2009-10: Had a 6+ game home winning streak (Seven, Dec. 1-Current)

2007-08: Came back from 11+ points down to win a game (McNeese St., Dec. 1)

2005-06: Had five or more consecutive wins (Six, Dec. 1-30), Came back from 13+ points down to win a game (Lamar, Dec. 30)

2004-05: Had a perfect month (December, 6-0), Had 10,981+ attend a Rice game (at Tennessee, Nov. 15)

1997-98: Had 2,318+ attend a Rice home game (Baylor, Nov. 27)

First: Perfect December (6-0)

Scoreboard Watching - Selected Results from Rice's Non-Conference Opponents

No. 1 Baylor beat No. 24 Iowa State and No. 23 Kansas ... No. 9 Tennessee moved to 4-0 in SEC play after beating Missouri and Florida ... No. 20 Texas A&M lost a nail-biter 65-62 at No. 5 Kentucky and defeated Auburn ... UALR is still ranked 18th in the mid-major poll after stumbling against North Texas 68-65 ... Lamar is in second place in the Soutland after defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... Tennessee Tech is 4-1 in OVC play and a half-game out of first place after beating SIU-Edwardsville ... UTSA is on a two game winning streak in WAC play after beating UT Arlington and traditional power Louisiana Tech





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