March 10, 2014
Rice Owls (13-16, 6-10 C-USA) vs. FIU Panthers (12-17, 6-10 C-USA)
Game 30 • Tuesday, March 11, 2014 • 2:30 p.m. (CT)
El Paso, Texas • Memorial Gym (5,200)
Audio: RiceOwls.com • TV: None • Video Stream: C-USA Network
Live Stats: View Here • Twitter Updates: @RiceWBasketball
Series Record: FIU leads, 3-1.
Owls Tip-Off C-USA Tournament Against FIU
Coming off a 61-51 road victory in the regular season finale at UAB, the Rice Owls head to El Paso to take on the FIU Panthers in the opening round. Rice is 6-8 all-time in the C-USA Tournament, and have advanced to two C-USA Championship Games.
Series History/FIU Scouting Report
FIU holds a 3-1 all-time series advantage over the Owls but Rice won the most recent meeting back on Jan. 8 when Rice won at Miami, 59-41, in the C-USA opener. In that contest the Owls limited the nation’s second-leading scorer, Jerica Coley (29.6 ppg), to just 16 points, her second-lowest output of the season. In that contest Rice established opponents season-lows in points (41), made field goals (15) and field goal percentage (.205). FIU enters the tourney having lost three straight and six of their last seven overall.
Four Straight All-C-USA First Team Selections For Kuster
Senior Jessica Kuster was named First Team All-C-USA for the fourth straight year, becoming the first Owl to be named to four C-USA First Teams, and only the third player to make four All-C-USA First Teams in league history. Houston’s Chandi Jones (2001-04) and Louisville’s Sara Nord (2001-04) are the only other players in C-USA history to be named to the First Team four straight years.
Kuster Named All-Defensive For Fourth Time
Jessica Kuster was named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team for the fourth straight year. She is the first, four-time C-USA All-Defensive Team selection in league history, and the first for the Owls. Lauren Neaves is the only other Owl to be named to as many as three all-defensive teams, earning the honor in the WAC (2003-04, 2004-05) and C-USA (2006-07).
C-USA Rebound Record In Sight
Jessica Kuster needs just six more rebounds to break the C-USA career rebounding mark, currently held by TCU’s Sandora Irvin (1,370). Kuster is averaging a career-best 13.4 rebound per game this season.
Kuster Is Double Trouble
Jessica Kuster (66 career double-doubles) surpassed former TCU standout Sandora Irvin for the most career double-doubles in C-USA history on Wednesday. Kuster has recorded a career-high 25 double-doubles this season. Another double-double would give Kuster the 13th-most double-doubles in NCAA history.
Kuster Joins Exclusive 2,000 Career Points/1,000 Career Rebounds Club
Jessica Kuster became one of just nine active NCAA Division I players to score 2,000 career points and grab 1,000 career rebounds with a 26-point, 17-rebound performance vs. North Texas (Feb. 26). Kuster, who is averaging a career-best 20.8 ppg, joins a list of just 145 players in NCAA Div. I history who had achieved the milestone. Kuster, who is currently at 2,055 career points, also surpassed former Rice Owl Mike Harris (2,014 career points) for the most points in Rice basketball history in either the men’s or women’s game.
Kuster a Three-Time C-USA Player of the Week
Jessica Kuster was named the Conference USA Player of the Week on Saturday, marking the third time this season the San Antonio, Texas native has been awarded the honor. Kuster scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Owls 61-51 win at UAB, making 12-of-26 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. The award was the fourth of her illustrious career.
A New Single-Season Points Record
Jessica Kuster surpassed the previous Rice single-season scoring record of 555 points held by Pat Krieger, a mark that had stood for 34 years (1979-80 season). Kuster is currently at 602 points with still a minimum of two games left to play.
Protecting The Lead Late
The Owls hold a record of 12-0 when leading with five minutes left in regulation. On the flipside, Rice is 1-15 when trailing with less than five minutes to go and 2-13 when trailing at halftime. The Owls hold a 10-2 mark when leading at the midway point.
Rebounds Lead To Wins
The recipe for success for the Owls this season can be found no further than how they fair on the boards. Rice holds a 12-6 record when they outrebound their opponent opposed to just a 1-10 mark when they don’t.