Nov. 13, 2013
Rice Owls (2-0, 0-0 C-USA) at McNeese State Cowgirls (1-1, 0-0 Southland)
Game 3 • Thursday, November 14, 2013 • 7 p.m.
Lake Charles, La. • Burton Coliseum (8,000)
Audio: RiceOwls.com • TV: None • Stream: mcneesesports.com/showcase/
Series Record: Rice leads, 5-2
Last Meeting: Rice won, 60-51 (12-1-12) at Tudor Fieldhouse
Owls Carry Perfect Start To Lake Charles
Rice travels to Lake Charles, La. to face the McNeese State Cowgirls of the Southland Conference Thursday at 7 p.m. The Owls will be looking to improve to 3-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season while McNeese will be trying to bounce back from a 74-49 loss at Tulane on Monday.
Briefly On The Owls
• With their win over Texas Southern, the Owls moved to 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2008 and the third time in the Greg Williams era.
• Through two games the Owls are averaging 69 points per games, a difference of 12 points (57 ppg) from their 2012-13 per contest average.
• Senior forward Jessica Kuster, who was named to the 2013-14 C-USA Preseason Team, was named the C-USA Player of the Week on Monday following her 33-point, 15-rebound performance versus Prairie View A&M in the season opener.
• Kuster, the 2012-13 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, moved into sixth place on Rice’s all-time scoring list last Friday and will next look to pass Pennie Goff (1,564 points, 1981-84) for fifth all-time. Kuster needs just 350 points to become the Owls all-time leading scorer. Kuster also moved into second place in Rice history in career rebounds (1,003), surpassing Goya Qualls (1979-82). Kuster became just the eighth player in C-USA history to amass 1,000-plus rebounds. She needs just 202 more to pass Lauren Neaves all-time school mark.
• Kuster is one of only two seniors in America that averaged a double-double in their first three seasons, joining Middle Tennessee’s Ebony Rowe.
WBB Comes Back To Defeat 17th-Ranked Mid-Major McNeese State 60-51
HOUSTON- Rice's women's basketball team came back from 11 points down to defeat the 17th-ranked mid-major, McNeese State, 60-51 at Tudor Fieldhouse. Megan Palmer led the way for the Owls with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
• McNeese State was picked to finish fourth in both the Southland Conference Coaches and SID Polls following a season in which they went 21-15 and advanced the SLC Tournament title game.
Rice vs. McNeese State
The Owls are 5-2 all-time against McNeese State, which includes a 60-51 victory over the Cowgirls last season at Tudor Fieldhouse on Dec. 1. In that contest Megan Palmer recorded the first double-double of her career with a career-high 24 points and 14 rebounds. Jessica Kuster also had a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds), the 31st of her career. The Owls are 1-1 all-time in Lake Charles and last played in the 1996-97 season, falling 65-64.
Rice is 39-18 since 2009-10 at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls were 13-3 at home in the calendar year of 2012 and 12-4 in the 2012-13 season, which included a seven-game winning streak early in the year. The Owls are currently on a modest four-game home win streak dating back to last season.
Putting Points On The Board
The 77 points by the Owls surpassed the Owls 2012-13 season-high 76 points and was tied for the most points by an Owls teams since they scored 77 points in a 77-50 win at Chicago State on Nov.18, 2011.
The Gang’s All Here
Rice returns four starters and 10-of-12 letterwinners from last season’s team. The Owls bring back 87 percent of scoring and 90 percent of rebounding from a year ago with the departure of seniors Jessica Goswitz and Zoe Rogers.
Kuster Named Defensive Player Of The Year; Named All-Defensive For Third Time
Last season Jessica Kuster became the first Rice player to win a conference Defensive Player of the Year award, and was named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team for the third straight year. She is the fourth three-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 three all-defensive teams, earning the honor in the WAC (2003-04, 2004-05) and C-USA (2006-07).
Three Straight All-C-USA First Team Selections For Kuster
Junior Jessica Kuster was named First Team All-C-USA for the third straight year, becoming the first Owl to be named to three C-USA First Teams, and only the eighth player to make three All-C-USA First Teams in league history. Lauren Neaves is the only other Rice player to be named to three all-conference first teams, receiving the honor once in the WAC (2003-04) and twice in C-USA (2005-06, 2006-07).
The Bags Are Packed
Including 17 games in Texas, the Owls will play games in 10 states this season, spanning from the Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colorado to Atlantic coast contests in Florida and North Carolina.