Owls Take On Cougars at C-USA Championship

Jessica Kuster.

March 6, 2012

Rice (15-14, 9-7) vs. Houston (3-25, 2-14)
Wed., March 7, 2012 • 7:30 p.m. (CT)
Elma Roane Fieldhouse • Memphis, Tenn.

2012 Conference USA Championship Central

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The Rice Owls women's basketball team, the No. 5 seed, plays No. 12 seed Houston in the first round of the Conference USA Championship, held in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on the University of Memphis campus.

Quick Look at the Owls
Rice lost a close 65-60 contest vs. Memphis on March 1. The Owls are now 2-7 in games decided by five points or less.

Kuster is one of only two C-USA players averaging a double-double at 17.1 ppg and 10.8 rpg (11th in the nation). Senior Brianna Hypolite follows in scoring at 10.5 ppg. Christal Porter and D'Frantz Smart are third in scoring at 5.4 points a game.

All-Conference USA
Sophomore Jessica Kuster has been named to the All-Conference USA First Team and All-Defensive Team for the second-straight season. Freshman Christal Porter has been selected to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.

Under 35
The Owls are 9-1 when they hold their opponents to under 35 percent shooting from the field.

Under 50
The Owls have held their opponents to under 50 points in 13 games this season and are 11-2 in those contests. The 40 points by Houston on Feb. 23 are the lowest this season by a Rice opponent.

Vs. Houston/Vs. UAB
The Owls swept the season series vs. Houston, winning 58-50 (Jan. 28) and 68-40 (Feb. 23) inside Tudor Fieldhouse. The Cougars lead the all-time series 41 to nine. Jessica Kuster has scored 19 and 22 points respectively in each game for Rice. The Rice-UH winner faces UAB in the quarter-finals. UAB defeated the Owls in the season's only meeting, the C-USA opener, 60-45 on Jan. 5. The Blazers now lead the series with Rice 4-3.

Rice Head Coach Greg Williams
Greg Williams (Rice, 1970) is now in his seventh season as the head coach of his alma mater. Williams has a 110-114 record at Rice and a 19-year career mark of 305-253.

Quick Look at UH
Roxana Button and Amanda Lawson were each honored by the league on Sunday, as Button was named to the All-Conference USA First-Team and Lawson earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.

Button claimed the C-USA scoring title this season with 17.8 points per game, becoming just the third Cougar (Tye Jackson, Chandi Jones) to achieve the feat. Button also led the league in minutes played (38.1), 20-point games (12), 30-point performances (3) and made free throws (147) while scoring in double-digits in 25 of 28 regular-season contests.

Rice at the Conference USA Championship
Rice is 5-6 all-time in games played at the Conference USA Championship. In 2006 and 2007, the Owls reached the championship game before losing to Tulsa and East Carolina respectively.

Rice's C-USA Championship Results:
2006 C-USA Championship
Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum) (2 seed)
March 3 Houston (Quarterfinals) W, 79-64
March 4 SMU (Semifinals) W, 57-52
March 5 Tulsa (Championship) L, 55-52

2007 C-USA Championship
Tulsa, Okla. (Reynolds Center) (4 seed)
March 2 UTEP (Quarterfinals) W, 56-46
March 3 Tulane (Semifinals) W, 64-52
March 4 East Carolina (Championship) L, 79-70

2008 C-USA Championship
Orlando, Fla. (9 seed)
March 6 East Carolina (First Round)
W, 69-55
March 7 UTEP (Quarterfinals) L, 80-71

2009 C-USA Championship
New Orleans, La. (12 seed)
March 5 UCF (First Round) L, 66-64

2010 C-USA Championship
Tulsa, Okla. (7 seed)
March 8 UTEP (First Round) L, 62-61

2011 C-USA Championship
El Paso, Texas (3 seed)
March 8 Memphis (Quarter-final) L, 63-52

Live Streaming
The C-USA Digital Network will exclusively stream the first round and quarterfinals. Current subscribers to the C-USA Digital Network can click on the watch links and enter the password information to view the games. New and school-only subscribers can sign up for C-USA Digital Network Monthly for $14.95 at www.conferenceusa.com/allaccess/.





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