Owls Host C-USA Leading Western Kentucky Saturday
Feb. 6, 2015
Rice Owls (7-13, 2-7 C-USA) vs. WKU Lady Toppers (19-4, 8-2 C-USA)
Game 21 Sunday, Feb. 7, 2015 2 p.m. (CT)
Houston, Texas Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750)
Video Stream: OwlVision ($)
Audio: Listen Live (Free)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Series Record: First-ever meeting
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Owls Close Homestand Saturday
The Rice Owls (7-13, 2-7) look to close out a three-game homestand with a winning record but face a daunting task in Western Kentucky (19-4, 8-2) Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse. Saturday will mark first-ever meeting between the Owls and Lady Toppers. The Owls are coming off a 72-69 loss to Marshall while WKU defeated North Texas 77-49 Saturday in Denton. Rice sits 12th in C-USA, the final spot eligible to qualify for the league tournament. WKU is tied with Middle Tennessee for first in C-USA.
Last Time Out
The Owls got a splendid performance from senior center Christal Porter, who notched her third consecutive double-double with a team-high 18 points and 12 rebounds, but it came in a heartbreaking 72-69 home loss to Marshall. Porter scored 14 second half points on 7-of-9 shooting, all while recording her 10th double-figure rebounding game of the year. Marshall's Norrisha Victrum hit a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining, proving to be the game-winner. Rice also got 11 points from senior guard Nakachi Maduka and 13 points off the bench from senior guard Reem Moussa. Rice struggled shooting (34 percent) in the first half and trailed at halftime 28-25. They bounced back in a big way in the final 20 minutes, making 18-of-35 (51 percent) shots from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point territory.
Western Kentucky Scouting Report
The Lady Toppers are closing out a stretch of seven of their last 11 league games on the road. WKU is a win away from their third consecutive 20-win season. The Lady Toppers have won 29 of its last 34 games dating back to last season and are led by senior All-American candidate Chastity Gooch, who was named the Preseason C-USA Player of the Year by league coaches. Gooch, who has been named the C-USA Player of the Week three times this season, is averaging a team-best 17.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Senior guard/forward Alexis Govan joins Gooch for a 1-2 punch, averaging 16.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. WKU was receiving votes in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll.