Jessica Kuster Named Conference USA Freshman of the Year

March 7, 2011

After winning 11 of the 17 Conference USA Freshman of the Week awards, it comes as no surprise that Rice women's basketball player Jessica Kuster was a runaway pick as the 2011 Conference USA Freshman of the Year the league office announced Monday afternoon.

She becomes the first Rice Owl women's basketball player to win the honor.

The San Antonio native (Reagan H.S) was previously selected to the All-C-USA First Team, All-Freshman Team, and the All-Defensive Team. She was also the only freshman selected to the C-USA First, Second, or Third Teams.

Kuster leads Rice in scoring (14.0) and rebounding (10.8) and is one of only two players in C-USA to be averaging a double-double in C-USA (15.8 ppg & 11.9 rpg) and overall. Her 11.9 rebounds per game ranks first in C-USA only and her 10.8 rpg is second overall. Nationally, Kuster is ranked second in the nation among freshmen in rebounding and is 16th overall. She is the leading C-USA freshman in scoring and rebounding. Her 12 double-doubles ranks third in C-USA and she scored C-USA's season-high 35 points vs. Long Beach. Kuster also grabbed a C-USA only season-high 20 rebounds vs. UAB, which also ties for first in overall games.

Kuster has posted double-digit scoring in 21 games and double-digit rebounding in 16 games. She currently ranks second in school history with 325 season rebounds and her 63 blocks ranks fifth.

The 2011 Buick C-USA Basketball Championship is set to take place from Wednesday, March 9 through Saturday, March 12 in Memorial Gym and the Don Haskins Center on UTEP's campus in El Paso, Texas. For ticket information, call 915-747-6150.

The Owls play the winner of the Memphis (No. 6 seed) vs. Southern Miss (No. 11 seed) on Thursday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m. (Central).

Voting for the Conference USA Specialty Awards was conducted among the league coaches, sports information directors, and media members.

Player of the Year
Courtney Taylor, Sr., F, Houston



Freshman of the Year
Jessica Kuster, F, Rice

Defensive Player of the Year
Courtney Taylor, Sr., F, Houston

Sixth Player of the Year
Gloria Brown, Jr.-TF, F, UTEP

Newcomer of the Year
Gloria Brown, Jr.-TF, F, UTEP

Coach of the Year
Todd Buchanan, Houston



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