Women's Basketball Hosts Prairie View To Begin 2012-13 Campaign

Jessica Kuster Is C-USA Preseason Player Of The Year

Nov. 8, 2012

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Prairie View A&M Panthers (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) at Rice Owls (0-0, 0-0 C-USA)

Game 1 • Friday, November 9, 2012 • 7:00 p.m.

Houston, Texas • Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750)
Audio: RiceOwls.com • TV: None

The Last Meeting
Prairie View A&M61(0-1)
November 11, 2011
Prairie View A&M
Owls Fall at PVAM, 61-58
Prairie View A&M outscored Rice 11 to 5 to finish the game for a 61-58 victory at the William Nicks Building Friday night.

Series Record: Rice leads 9-3

Last Meeting: L, 58-61 (11/11/11) at Prairie View, Texas


Owls Open 2012-13 Campaign

Rice begins its 2012-13 season by hosting Prairie View A&M at Tudor Fieldhouse, the first of eight games against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. The Owls are led by eighth year head coach Greg Williams, who has led the Owls to four postseason appearances in seven years. On the floor, Preseason C-USA Player of the Year, junior Jessica Kuster, leads the Owls, and takes on SWAC Preseason Player of the Year Latia Williams.

Briefly On The Owls

Jessica Kuster was named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year

Jessica Kuster needs 30 points to reach 1,000 for her career

• Prairie View A&M is the first of eight games the Owls have against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, and the first of the four that take place in Tudor Fieldhouse.

• Rice is 27-14 since 2009-10 in Tudor Fieldhouse

• The matchup between Jessica Kuster and Prairie View's Latia Williams is one of two matchups the Owls have between preseason conference players of the year.

• Rice is 26-8 in season openers

Rice vs. Prairie View A&M

Rice and Prairie View A&M have played 3 times since 2007-08, with the Panthers owning a slight 2-1 edge in the recent series, but all three games have been decided by five or fewer points. The Owls and Panthers played three times in 1978-79, and after that year, the Owls own a 7-0 mark against Prairie View in Tudor Fieldhouse.

Owls In Season Openers

Rice is 26-8 in season openers, dating back to 1978-79, the first year of data. The Owls have not opened the season at home since 2008-09, the first year in Tudor Fieldhouse. Rice is 3-1 in their home-opening games since Tudor Fieldhouse opened.

Rice Ninth-Youngest Team In Division I

Rice is tied for the ninth-youngest team in Division 1 in terms of years of senior college experience. The Owls have 13 years of experience among the 12 players on the roster, the youngest average experience in C-USA.

Youngest Teams In Division I (By Years of Collegiate Experience)

Rank School Avg. Exp. Players

1. San Jose State .444 4 9

2. Temple .727 8 11

SIU-Carbondale .727 8 11

4. Clemson .833 10 12

Florida .909 10 11

6. Dayton 1.000 12 12

Southern Miss 1.091 12 11

Tennessee 1.091 12 11

9. Rhode Island 1.000 13 13

CS Fullerton 1.000 13 13

Rice 1.083 13 12

Rice To Face Tennessee In Historic Game

On Nov. 15, Rice opens a new era in women's basketball, as the Owls face Tennessee in the Lady Vols' first home game since 1973 with someone other than Pat Summit coaching the team. Holly Warlick, a long-time Summit assistant and player, takes over the helm for the Lady Vols. Summit, one of the legends of collegiate athletics, won six national titles before stepping down after 2011-12 due to her battle with dementia.

Playing Into March

Since entering C-USA in 2005-06, Rice has the most postseason appearances of any C-USA school, having reached the postseason in four seasons (2006, 2006, 2011, 2012). Memphis, SMU, and Tulane have reached the postseason three times since 2005-06, and 11 of the 12 C-USA schools have reached the postseason at least once.

Griner Returns To Houston

Baylor senior Brittney Griner, a native of Houston, returns home on Nov. 27 with her Bear teammates to take on the Owls at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Nimitz High School graduate was Player of the Year in 2011-12 and Preseason Player of the Year in 2012-13 by every major service. The Bears went 40-0 to win the NCAA Title in 2011-12, and have not lost a game since the 2011 Regional Final, where the Lady Bears fell to eventual National Champion Texas A&M. Griner has not played in Houston since her senior year of high school.

Goswitz's Homecoming

Rice senior Jessica Goswitz plays in front of her friends and family on Nov. 15, as she returns to her hometown of Knoxville to play the Tennessee Lady Vols. A graduate of the Webb School, the Owls play a second contest in her home state, at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 17 before returning home.

Kuster On Track For 1,000

Jessica Kuster can become the 18th Rice player to reach 1,000 points in a career with 30 more points. Only seven players have reached the 1,000 point plateau in their junior season. Morgan Mayse is the last Rice player to reach 1,000 points, accomplishing the feat in 2010-11.

Kuster Named Preseason Player of the Year

Rice junior Jessica Kuster was named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, as voted upon by the league's coaches. The selection is Kuster's second straight appearance on the Preseason All-C-USA Team. Kuster is the first Rice player to be named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year since Lauren Neaves prior to the 2005-06 season. In the same poll, the Owls were picked to finish fourth in the league by a poll of the league's coaches.

Last Time Vs. Prairie View A&M (Nov. 11, 2011)
Prairie View, Texas - Prairie View A&M outscored Rice 11 to 5 to finish the game for a 61-58 victory at the William Nicks Building on Nov. 11, 2011. Jessica Kuster had 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Owls (0-1). D'Frantz Smart had 11 points and 4 assists and freshman Christal Porter scored 9 points and pulled in 6 rebounds. Rice was only 18-31 (58 percent) at the free throw line and committed 25 turnovers on the evening.

C-USA Changing

2012-13 marks the final year of the current alignment of C-USA, which has not changed since Rice entered the league for 2005-06. C-USA adds Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion, Charlotte, UTSA, FIU and North Texas for 2012-13. Louisiana Tech won the 1982 and 1988 NCAA Championships, and has ten Final Four appearances; Old Dominion won the 1985 NCAA Championship and has three Final Four appearances; Charlotte has made nine consecutive postseason appearances; UTSA has won five conference championships since 2000; FIU has made 12 postseason appearances; and North Texas engineered one of the nation's best turnarounds in 2011-12. Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF depart C-USA after this season to join the Big East.

Owls Face Three Teams In Preseason Top 20

Rice has games scheduled against No. 20 Tennessee, No. 1 Baylor and No. 15 Texas A&M in the non-conference portion of its schedule. If the opponents hold their ranking, it will be the first time since 2004-05 that Rice has faced three or more Top 20 schools.

Tournament Tested

Rice plays seven teams from last season's NCAA Tournament field a total of eight times, and has a total of 11 games against postseason participants from a year ago. Prairie View A&M, Tennessee, UALR, Baylor, McNeese St., Texas A&M, and UTEP reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12

Autry Army

Rice is 27-14 since 2009-10 at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls went 9-5 in their home building last season.

Mama Taj

Rice welcomed WNBA standout Taj McWilliams-Franklin to the staff this summer, but she joined the Owls on November 5th, after finishing her season with the Minnesota Lynx, who advanced to the WNBA Finals for a second straight year. McWilliams-Franklin, nicknamed "Mama Taj," averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, in addition to starting 33 of 34 games for the Western Conference Champions in 2012.

Moussa Represents Egypt

Reem Moussa represented Egypt in the FIBA Africa AfroBasket U18 tournament this summer. She averaged 6.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and had a field goal percentage of .407 for the Egyptians in six games, as they took Bronze, only losing two games in the tournament. She started three games in the tournament, and posted her tournament-high with 18 points against Tunsia.





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