Feb. 15, 2011
Rice (15-10, 7-4) vs. UTEP (13-10, 5-6)
Thur., Feb. 17, 2011 8 p.m. (Central)
Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) Houston, Texas
LIVE TV: CBS College/CSS with Ann Schatz and Maria Taylor
Rice women's basketball team hosts UTEP on Thursday at 8 p.m. This game is Rice's Pink Zone game as the Women's Basketball Coaching Association is committed to raising breast cancer awareness and funding. Everyone who wears pink to Thursday's game receives FREE ADMISSION.
Rice leads the series vs. UTEP 22-11, but the Miners won the season's first contest 79-57 in El Paso.
Quick Look at the Owls
Rice won on the road for the seventh time this season with a 71-58 victory at Memphis. Brianna Hypolite had 18 points, while Jessica Kuster had 15p and 11r for her ninth double-double.
Brianna Hypolite is second on the team in scoring at 11.4 ppg and is third in steals with 25. Hypolite also is second on the squad with 25 three-pointers made. She scored a career-high 31 points as Rice defeated Mercer 65-39 at the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament in which she also named MVP. Her previous best was 28 points in the overtime win vs. Montana State. She had 18 in the win at Memphis to lead the Owls.
Junior guard D'Frantz Smart spent part of her summer at summer school by attending the Point Guard College held in Boston. Smart leads the Owls in assists with a career season-high 140 and in steals with 59. The Chicago native scored a season-high 17 points with 5 steals vs. FIU and dished out a season-high 10 assists at home vs. UCF. She also had 9 assists vs. Marshall and 8 assists and zero turnovers in the Texas State game.
Smart's assist-turnover ratio is 1.6, ranking second in C-USA. Her ratio is 1.9 for C-USA only games.
Smart is only 13 assists away from holding Rice's all-time single-season assist record with at least six games remaining in the schedule.
Rice Assists in a Season
1. Dede Brantley (1986-87), 152
2. Charonda Wilson (1998-99), 145
3. Marla Brumfield (1999-2000), 143
Kadie Riverin (2006-07), 143
5. D'Frantz Smart (2009-10), 140
6. Leslie Tassin (1988-89), 138
7. Dede Brantley (1985-86), 137
8. D'Frantz Smart (2010-11), 133
9. Yalonda Stiner (1991-92), 128
10. Kim Lawson (2002-03), 127
Kuster Ranks Second in the Nation
Jessica Kuster is the second-leading rebounder in the nation among all freshmen at 10.8 rpg and 16th overall as of Feb. 11. She is also averaging 12.6 rpg in C-USA only games, which ranks first in the conference.
Jessica Kuster has been named the C-USA Freshman of the Week nine times this season including a stretch of five straight weeks. She has been honored Dec. 6, Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 10, Jan. 17, Jan. 31, Feb. 7, and Feb. 14.
Those are the most weekly Freshman of the Week honors in the history of the league.
She leads Rice in scoring (13.1) and in rebounding (10.8). Her rebounding average ranks first among C-USA freshmen and second overall, while her scoring average ranks first among all C-USA freshmen. She is the only freshman ranked in the C-USA top 20 in scoring. She also leads the Owls in blocks (54). Kuster grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds vs. UAB, which is the most this season in a C-USA game. She has led the Owls in rebounding in 22 games and she also grabbed 18 rebounds at Northwestern State. Kuster leads Rice with nine double-doubles, five of which have been on the road.
In C-USA games, Kuster is first in scoring for Rice (14.5) and leads in rebounding (12.5). She made her first collegiate start in the contest vs. HBU and scored a game-high 16 points with a team-high 7 rebounds.
In only her ninth collegiate game, Kuster scored 35 points in the win over Long Beach State with a game-high 10 rebounds in only 31 minutes of action. She made 13 of 16 from the field and it is the seventh-most points scored in a game by a Rice Owl. The 35 points scored ties for first in the nation as a single-game high by a freshman.
In her first collegiate contest, Kuster came off the bench to lead Rice in rebounding with 7 boards in 23 minutes of action vs. Montana State. In 24 minutes vs. FIU she pulled down 9 boards in 24 minutes and again had 9 rebounds in 26 minutes at Baylor. She scored in double-digits for the first time with 11 vs. FIU.
Rice Single Game Rebounds
1. Goya Qualls (vs. Hardin-Simmons, 2-15-80), 23
2. Amelia Cooper (vs. McNeese State, 11-29-88), 21
3. Amelia Cooper (vs. SMU, 1-16-88), 20
3. Lauren Neaves (vs. Texas A&M, 12-1-06), 20
3. Valeriya Berezhynska (vs. Tulane, 3-3-07), 20
3. Valeriya Berezhynska (vs. Marshall, 2-28-08), 20
3. Jessica Kuster (vs. UAB, 1-23-11), 20
Rice Season Rebounds
1. Lauren Neaves (2005-06), 344
2. Lauren Neaves (2006-07), 315
3. Amelia Cooper (1988-89), 306
4. Lauren Neaves (2004-05), 301
5. Evenda Barnes (1990-91), 283
6. Evenda Barnes (1991-92), 281
7. Goya Qualls (1978-79), 280
8. Jessica Kuster (2010-11), 271
9. Goya Qualls (1979-80), 261
Goya Qualls (1980-81), 260
Rice Double-Doubles in 2010-11 (10)
Jessica Kuster (9)
35p, 10r vs. Long Beach State
13p, 18r at Northwestern State
26p, 14r at Texas State
14p, 11r vs. Lamar
17p, 15r at Tulsa
16p, 16r at East Carolina
22p, 17r vs. SMU
18p, 14r at Houston
15p, 11r at Memphis
Morgan Mayse (1)
11p, 10r vs. Mercer
At the Half
Rice is 13-0 when leading at half-time.The Owls were behind at the half at Memphis, but outscored the Tigers 43 to 27 to win its first game of the season when trailing at the break.
The Owls are 11-1 when they outrebound the opposition.
Senior Morgan Mayse scored a career-high 21 points in the OT win at Tulane, including six in the overtime period. Mayse canned three three-pointers and grabbed five rebounds as well. In the next game, Mayse tallied 15 points with 7 rebounds in the win over Tulsa.
Mayse has scored in double-digits in seven of her last eight games.
Redshirt junior Megan Elliott, a native of Atlanta (Pace Academy), plans on attending law school upon graduation from Rice. Right now she is schooling the opposition by averaging 4.5 rebounds per game (second on the team). She had a game-high 10 rebounds vs. SFA in 29 minutes of action off the bench and tallied a season-high 11 points at HBU. Elliott also had 9 rebounds in the home victory over Tulsa.
Goswitz Got Game
Sophomore Jessica Goswitz's was hampered prior to the start of the season with ankle sprain but has since recovered and is the Owls' fourth-leading scorer at 7.9 ppg. In the three games prior to the UH game, Goswitz was 11-18 from beyond the arc (61 percent). She leads the team with 34 made three-pointers.
Goswitz tied her career-high with 19 points in the win over Tulsa at home as she drilled 5 three-pointers. She scored 17 points in the win at Tulane with a five three-pointers.
Goswitz also tallied15 points in the win over Long Beach State with 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
McKinney Carries Rice in 2nd Half
Amenemope McKinney tied her season high with 12 points in the Marshall contest including two key baskets on consecutive possessions to keep the Thundering Herd at bay. McKinney tallied 10 points in the second-half vs. Marshall. She previously scored 12 points in the win over Northwestern State.
With the Owls winning at Tulane in overtime, it brings their all-time OT record to 13-21. Last season, Rice went 0-2 in overtime games. The Owls are 1-2 vs. Tulane in OT contests and are 2-0 in OT games this season.
The 97 points scored by Rice at Texas State ties as the fifth-highest point total in a game in school history. It is also the highest output in the Greg Williams era at Rice.
36, 40, & 47
Rice's 47-point (97-50) victory over Texas State is the second-largest winning margin in the Greg Williams era. The largest victory margin in the Williams' era came on Jan. 27, 2006, when the Owls defeated UTEP in Autry Court 83-32 (51).
The 40-point (80-40) winning margin at Northwestern State is the second-largest of the season. Rice also posted a 36-point winning margin over HBU (82-46).
The 39 points scored by Marshall is the lowest amount by a Rice opponent since the Owls held UALR to 39 points in the 49-39 victory on Nov. 20, 2007. The lowest point total scored against Rice in an Owl victory is 32 as the Owls crushed UTEP 83-32 (Jan. 27, 2006) in Greg Williams' first season.
Top 10 Opponents
Rice is the only Conference USA school that has played two top-10 opponents thus far. The Owls played at #2 Baylor (Nov. 14) and hosted #8 Texas A&M (Nov. 20).
Six players are averaging 20+ minutes per game led by Smart (29.8), Goswitz (28.4), Kuster (29.0), Hypolite (26.7), Mayse (25.3), and Elliott (21.3).
In-season Tournament Record
Rice competed in three in-season tournaments and posted a combined record of 4-3. The Owls went 1-2 at Baylor's World Vision Classic, 2-0 to capture Georgia State's Thanksgiving Tournament and 1-1 at their own Gene Hackerman Invitational.
Junior Candace Ashford scored a career-high 13 points in the win over Texas State. The center made 4-6 from the field and 5-7 at the free throw line in 11 minutes of action. Ashford also scored 10 points in 20 minutes in the win over SMU.
Owls Sign Three in November
Head coach Greg Williams has announced the signing of Megan Shafer, from the The Woodlands, Texas, Nakachi (Nikki) Maduka of Arlington, Texas, and Maya Adetula from Mansfield, Texas, to National Letters of Intent to attend Rice and play basketball for the Owls beginning in the fall of 2011.
Megan Shafer, a 6'0" forward for College Park High School, led the team in scoring (498 points) and rebounding her junior year at 15.6 points per game and 6 rebounds per game. Shafer earned All-District 15-5A First Team, District 15-5A Newcomer of the Year, and Montgomery County Newcomer of the Year accolades, as well as Academic All-District. She is the daughter of Eddie and Fran Shafer.
Nikki Maduka, a 5'11" forward, plays for Martin High School and was an All-District 4-5A First Team pick in 2010. Averaged 9.9 ppg and 4.5 boards a game in addition to 3.2 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game. Nikki is the daughter of Charles and Gloria Maduka.
Mark Lewis of ESPN's HoopGurlz wrote of Maduka, "...can slash from the elbow and does a good job of mixing it up once she gets into the paint. Her individual skills may well be the thing that will set her apart when matched up with bigger opponents... Defensively she's aggressive and has the ability to match up with both interior and perimeter players. Her quickness benefits her on the ball and off and she's aggressive on the boards at both ends."
Joey Simmons' Premier Basketball Report 2011 Texas Top 150 has rated Maduka #32 and Shafer #39. Maduka competed for the North Texas Shockers AAU basketball club coached by John Shields, while Shafer played for the HBA Blazers AAU basketball program and was coached by Herb LeeDee. Adetula, a 5' 9" guard from Mansfield, Texas, and Mansfield High School averaged 16.2 points a game last season by scoring 501 points. She also averaged 3.1 rebounds per game as well and 1.6 steals.
"All three of these players, besides of course of being outstanding student-athletes, to be admitted to Rice, are high-energy players who will help our perimeter game next season on both ends of the floor," comments Williams. "We are real pleased with how this class came together and I think they will have the opportunity to come in and contribute as freshmen."