Nov. 20, 2013
Southern Jaguars (2-1, 0-0 SWAC) at Rice Owls (2-2, 0-0 C-USA)
Game 5 Thursday, November 21, 2013 7 p.m.
Houston, Texas Ferrell Center (5,750)
Audio: RiceOwls.com TV: None Stream: RiceOwls.com
Series Record: Rice leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Rice won, 72-41 (12-30-95)
Home Sweet Home
The Rice Owls will be looking to snap a mini two-game losing streak on Thursday when they return home to Tudor Fieldhouse to face the Southern Jaguars of Baton Rouge, La. Rice has lost back-to-back road games, at McNeese State and No. 9 Baylor respectively, and will be playing just their second home contest of the season. Southern started the season 2-0 before falling at Florida A&M, 74-67, last Friday. This will mark the third game this season for the Owls against a member of the SWAC. Rice defeated Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern earlier this year.
Briefly On The Owls
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 Nov. 11 following a 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, has moved into sixth place on Rice's all-time scoring list and will next look to pass Pennie Goff (1,564 points, 1981-84) for fifth all-time. Kuster is just 34 points away from tying Goff. 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 158 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.
Freshman Jasmine Goodwine is coming off the best game of her collegiate career. The freshman from Killeen, Texas came off the bench to score a career-high 10 points against No. 9 Baylor on Monday.
Freshman post Adaeze Obinnah recorded the first point and assist of her career at Baylor.
Rice vs. Southern
The Owls are 1-0 all-time against Southern, having last played and defeated them in 1995, 72-41 in. Southern entered the 2013-14 season as the preseason SWAC favorites, voted on by the coaches and sports information directors. Last season the Jaguars jumped out to a 10-1 record in league play before losing six of their final eight contests.
Southern is led in scoring by junior post Jasmine Jefferson (15.5ppg) and junior guard Kendra Coleman (14.0ppg).
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.