Owls Travel To Middle Tennessee Saturday
Rice set to face fourth, Top-25 team this season
Feb. 6, 2014
Rice Owls (10-11, 3-5 C-USA) at No. 25 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (18-4, 7-1)
Game 22 • Saturday, February 8, 2014 • 2 p.m. (CT)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee • Murphy Center (11,520)
Audio: RiceOwls.com • TV: None • Stream: GoBlueRaiders.com (All-Access)
Twitter Updates: @RiceWBasketball
Series Record: First Meeting
Owls Facing Big Challenge in Murfreesboro
The Rice Owls women’s basketball team will be looking to put an end to a season-high, four-game losing streak on Saturday when they travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to face the No. 25 Blue Raiders. Rice holds a 3-7 record away from home this season while Middle Tennessee is 7-2 at the Murphy Center. Rice fell 74-58 last Saturday at home against Southern Miss. The Blue Raiders are coming off a rare 68-56 loss on Wednesday at Southern Miss. The loss snapped Middle Tennessee’s 17-game win streak, the fourth longest in school history and the second longest in league history.
Series History vs. Middle Tennessee/Scouting Report
Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between Rice and Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders are ranked in the Top-25 in both the AP (21) and USA Today Coaches poll (25) for the first time since 2007. Senior forward Ebony Rowe ranks 11th nationally with 11.7 rebounds per game and 18th in the NCAA with 21.8 points per game.
A Clash of the Country’s Best
Not only will Saturday mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams, but it will also feature the only two active players (Jessica Kuster-Rice & Ebony Rowe-MT) in the nation who have averaged a double-double in each of their first three seasons. Between the two, Kuster (59) and Rowe (71) have combined for 130 double-doubles in their respective careers. Rowe ranks ninth all-time with her 71 double-doubles while Kuster’s 59 is good enough for 26th all-time. Kuster is just seven double-double shy of becoming the all-time leader in Conference USA history and needs just one more double-double to move into a four-way tie for second all-time.
Kuster Puts Her Name in the Record Books
Rice senior forward Jessica Kuster (1,881 points) became the Rice all-time leading scorer vs. Tulane (Jan. 29). The San Antonio, Texas native scored 14 points to supplant Pat Krieger (1,851 points) as the Owls all-time record holder with still a minimum of 10 games remaining. Kuster broke the record in exactly 112 games, the same amount the Krieger played in from 1979-82. This season Kuster has become the Owls all-time leading scorer, rebounder and career field goals made leader.
Kuster Looking to Join Rare Company
Jessica Kuster is already one of just six active players with over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds and is now approaching even rarer company. Kuster, who is averaging a career-best 20.0 ppg, is 148 points away from joining the 2,000-point, 1,000 rebound club. Only Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, Middle Tennessee’s Ebony Rowe and Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas can lay claim to that company.
Numbers to Know
Rice is 10-5 this season when holding opponents to 69 points or less and 9-2 when their opponents shoot below 39 percent. The Owls also own a 9-3 record when they outrebound their opponent.