Kuster and Porter Earn C-USA Honors

Jessica Kuster.

March 4, 2012

Irving, Texas - Sophomore Jessica Kuster has been named to the All-Conference USA First Team and All-Defensive Team, while freshman Christal Porter has been selected to the All-Freshman Team, the league office announced Sunday afternoon.

For the first time, eight players captured first-team honors and eight more were tabbed as second-team All-C-USA picks as voted on by the league's coaches, sports information directors and a select media panel.

Kuster, from San Antonio, repeats her All-C-USA first team and All-Defensive team honors from a year ago. The 6' 2" forward delivered all season for the Owls, as she is one of only two C-USA players that accounted for a double-double on the year. She ranked second in the league in scoring with an average of 17.1 points per game and first in rebounding with 10.8 per contest, a figure that ranks 11th nationally. Kuster produced 12 double-doubles and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds against UTSA.

"I am happy for Jessica and I am please she did not fall into what is commonly know as the sophomore jinx after having an outstanding freshman year," stated Rice head coach Greg Williams. "She followed that up by repeating as first team all-conference and all-defensive team. That is a credit to her that she didn't rest on her freshman laurels and continued to work hard during the off-season and came in prepared to continue to build on the outstanding freshman year that she had. It is a tremendous honor to be selected to both of those squads (first team and all-defensive) because it shows that she's competing and playing hard on both ends of the floor."

Porter, from Germantown, Tenn., was second on the team to Kuster in rebounding at 4.9 rebounds per game. She was also third on the squad in scoring at 5.4 points per game. Porter also earned C-USA Freshman of the Week twice during the season.



"We signed Christal late and hoped she would come in and fill the great void we had with the graduation of Morgan Mayse as well as Megan Elliott leaving us a little thin in the post," Williams commented. "Christal was thrown right out there immediately and played extremely competitive for us. She has a really great future ahead of her. She is one of the few players playing Division I basketball at a high level who did not play summer basketball with the AAU and club teams. She is literally 120 to 140 games behind, maybe even more, as a lot of players have been doing that for three or four years. For her to come in and having just played high school basketball and make the all-freshmen team in Conference USA is a real credit to her and the hard work that she put in during pre-season as well as throughout the year."

Kuster, Porter, and the rest of the Owls will be back in action on Wednesday, March 7 when Rice (15-14, 9-7) plays Houston (3-25, 2-14) in the first round of the Conference USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. inside the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on the University of Memphis campus.

All-C-USA First Team
Roxana Button, Sr., G, Houston
Jasmine Lee, RS-Sr., P, Memphis
Jessica Kuster, So., F, Rice
Jamierra Faulkner, So., PG, Southern Miss
Olivia Grayson, Jr., G, Tulane
Taleya Mayberry, Jr., G, Tulsa
Aisha Patrick, Sr., G, UCF
Gloria Brown, Sr., F, UTEP

All-C-USA Second Team
Brittany Carter, RS-Sr., G, Memphis
Nicole Dickson, Jr., F, Memphis
Akil Simpson, So., F, SMU
Tanecka Carey, Jr., G, Southern Miss
Brett Benzio, Sr., C, Tulane
Karisma Chapman, So., F, UAB
Amber Jones, Jr., G, UAB
Kayla Thornton, So., F, UTEP

All-Freshman Team
Amanda Lawson, F, Houston
Shay Weaver, G, Marshall
Christal Porter, F, Rice
Danielle Blagg, G, Tulane
Nitesha Pierce, F, Southern Miss

All-Defensive Team
Ramses Lonlack, Sr., G, Memphis
Jessica Kuster, So., F, Rice
Brett Benzio, Sr., C, Tulane
Karisma Chapman, So., F, UAB
Gloria Brown, Sr., F, UTEP



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