March 2, 2013
Rice Owls (13-14, 5-9 C-USA) at Houston Cougars (12-15, 6-8 C-USA)
Game 28 Sunday, March 3, 2013 2 p.m.
Houston, Texas Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479)
Audio: RiceOwls.com TV: None
Series Record: Houston leads 42-10
Women's Basketball Drops Nail-Biter To Houston
HOUSTON- Despite 22 points and 15 rebounds from Jessica Kuster, Rice's women's basketball team fell 53-51 to Houston in a closely fought contest. Kuster moved into eighth on Rice's all-time scoring list and third in career rebounding during the game.
Owls Take Three-Game Win Streak Across Town To Houston
Rice looks to extend its winning streak to four games in the last scheduled C-USA game between the crosstown foes. A win would even Rice's record at 14-14, bringing the Owls to .500+ for the first time since Jan. 24. Nakachi Maduka led the Owls in their last game, posting a career-high 18 points and scoring six of the last seven Rice points down the stretch, which clinched the victory.
Briefly On The Owls
Rice is tied with Tulane for C-USA's longest active winning streak
Four Rice players are averaging at least 9.3 points in this winning streak and nine Rice players have scored at least 8+ points in a single game in that stretch
Rice has come back from nine or more points down to win four times this season
The Owls have shot 54.4 percent in the second half over their past three games
Jessica Kuster is the only player in C-USA and one of 36 players nationally to be averaging a double double
Kuster is one of eight players nationally to have averaged a double double in 2010-11, 2011-12 and to currently be averaging a double double in 2012-13. Kuster and Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe are the only two juniors on that list
Cross-town rivals Rice and Houston have met 52 times since 1978-79, and are playing their final matchup as members of C-USA. The Owls swept the Cougars in three games last season, however the Cougars had won the previous eight contests and the Feb. 10 game this year. Rice head coach Greg Williams was the Cougars' coach from 1985-1990, posting a 93-51 record and finishing #25 in the polls after 1987-88.
Rice's Three Game Win Streak
Rice is tied with Tulane for C-USA's longest active winning streak at three games. The Owls are out-scoring their opponents by an average of 10.0 points during the streak, and have four players scoring 9.3+ points per game in this stretch (Kuster 14.0, Porter 10.0, Maduka 9.6, Palmer 9.3).
Rice's bench has outscored its counterpart in three consecutive games, all Rice wins. During these three games, the Owls scored a season-high 26 bench points against Marshall. Nine different Rice players, including four from the bench unit, have scored 8+ points at least once during this stretch.
Owls Down UTEP For Third Straight Win
For the second straight year, Rice defeated UTEP in El Paso, winning by a score of 62-59 on Feb. 28 in a nationally-televised game (CBS Sports Network). UTEP has lost only four C-USA games at home during the past two seasons, and two of the four losses have come at the hands of the Owls.
Rice has had four come-from-behind wins (or 9 or more points) 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, battling back from a 48-35 disadvantage to beat Lamar on Dec. 30 and erasing a 57-42 deficit to beat Marshall in OT on Feb. 24. The Owls' 15-point comeback on Feb. 24 was the largest Rice comeback since Nov. 14, 2004, when the Owls erased a 15 point deficit against Stephen F. Austin.