March 11, 2013
Jessica Kuster became the first Rice player to be named Conference USA Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Year on Monday. Kuster adds Defensive Player of the Year honors to First Team All-C-USA and C-USA All-Defensive Team honors.
Kuster led Conference USA in blocks and defensive rebounds, and averaged a steal per game. The three-time C-USA All-Defensive Team honoree helped Rice to the third-best scoring defense in C-USA games.
She currently ranks 9th on Rice's single-season blocks list and second on Rice's career blocks list. She is third on Rice's career rebounding list. Kuster led the team in blocks in 17 games this season, and led the team in steals nine times.
Offensively, she has 14 double doubles this season, and is one of two juniors, along with Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe, to have averaged a double double each of the past three seasons.
Rice takes on No. 6 seed and host Tulsa at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 in the Tulsa Convention Center to kick off the C-USA Championship.