Owls Host Tulane on Thursday

Feb. 23, 2011

Rice (17-10, 9-4) vs. Tulane (18-8, 7-6)
Thu., Feb. 24, 2011 • 7 p.m. (CT)
Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) • Houston

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Rice Head Coach Greg Williams
Greg Williams (Rice, 1970) is now in his sixth season as the head coach of his alma mater. Williams has an 88-96 record at Rice and an 18-year career mark of 289-235.

Series History
Tulane is 12-11 vs. the Owls after Rice won the season's first meeting 74-70 in overtime in New Orleans.

Quick Look at the Owls
Rice won its 17th victory of the season on Thursday and the Owls have now assured themselves of a winning campaign. This is the first winning season since the 2007 squad, that played in the WNIT, won 19 games.

B Hyp
Brianna Hypolite is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg. Hypolite also is second on the squad with 26 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. Hypolite snared a career-high 13 rebounds at Southern Miss.

Smart Player
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 155 and in steals with 67. 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 Rice's all-time single-season assist record-holder.

Rice Assists in a Season
1. D'Frantz Smart (2010-11) 155
2. Dede Brantley (1986-87) 152
3. Charonda Wilson (1998-99) 145
4. Marla Brumfield (1999-2000) 143
Kadie Riverin (2006-07) 143
6. Leslie Tassin (1988-89) 138
7. Dede Brantley (1985-86) 137
8. D'Frantz Smart (2009-10) 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 11th overall as of Feb. 18. She is also averaging 12.2 rpg in C-USA only games, which ranks first in the conference.

Kuster FOTW
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.

Kuster Leading Scorer & Rebounder
Jessica Kuster leads Rice in scoring (13.4) 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 (59). Kuster grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds vs. UAB, which is the most this season in a C-USA game and she also grabbed 18 rebounds at Northwestern State. She has led the Owls in rebounding in 24 games and leads Rice with 10 double-doubles, five of which have been on the road.

In C-USA games, Kuster is first in scoring for Rice (14.9) and leads in rebounding (12.22). 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 Rebounding Average
1. Amelia Cooper (1988-89) 11.8
2. Lauren Neaves (2006-07) 10.9
3. Jessica Kuster (2010-11) 10.8
Lauren Neaves (2005-06) 10.8
5. Evenda Barnes (1990-91) 10.1
6. Evenda Barnes (1991-92) 10.0
7. Valeriya Berezhynska (2007-08) 9.9
8. Goya Qualls (1978-79) 9.7
9. Pennie Goff (1982-83) 9.7
10. Holly Jones (1985-86) 9.6

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. Jessica Kuster (2010-11) 292
6. Evenda Barnes (1990-91) 283
7. Evenda Barnes (1991-92) 281
8. Goya Qualls (1978-79) 280
9. Goya Qualls (1979-80) 261

Rice Season Blocked Shots
1. Lauren Neaves (2003-04) 84
2. Lauren Neaves (2004-05) 73
Lauren Neaves (2005-06) 73
4. Johnetta Hayes (2001-02) 70
5. Jessica Kuster (2010-11) 59
Lauren Neaves (2006-07) 59
7. Evenda Barnes (1990-91) 49
8. Michelle Woods (2003-04) 41
9. Evenda Barnes (1991-92) 38
10. Nicki Manzo (1991-92) 36

Rice Double-Doubles in 2010-11 (11)
Jessica Kuster (10)
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
18p, 14r vs. UTEP

Morgan Mayse (1)
11p, 10r vs. Mercer

Morgan aMAYSEing
Senior Morgan Mayse became the 17th Owl to score over 1,000 points when she poured in 23 in the win over UTEP. Her previous career-high was 21 in the OT win at Tulane. Mayse then scored 27 points at Southern Miss for a new career-high. For efforts vs. UTEP and at USM, Mayse was named C-USA Player of the Week for the first time in her career.

She now has 1,031 career-points. Mayse has scored in double-digits in nine of her last 10 games. In C-USA games she is averaging 14.8 ppg.

At the Half
Rice is 15-0 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.

Rebounding Edge
The Owls are 13-1 when they outrebound the opposition.

Counselor Elliott
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 4.3 rebounds per game (third 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 7.7 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 38 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 tallied 15 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.

Ol' 97
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).

Balanced Minutes
Six players are averaging 20+ minutes per game led by Smart (29.8), Goswitz (30.2), Kuster (29.3), Hypolite (26.8), Mayse (25.4), and Elliott (20.8). Smart has played the full 40 minutes in games at Georgia State, vs. SMU and vs.UTEP.

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.

Ashford 13
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."





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