Nov. 22, 2013
Rice Owls (3-2, 0-0 C-USA) at No. 21 Michigan State (3-1, 0-0 Big 10)
Game 6 • Saturday, November 23, 2013 • 6:30 p.m. (CT)
East Lansing, Michigan • Breslin Center (14,759)
Audio: RiceOwls.com • TV: None • Stream: http://www.msuspartans.com/allaccess/
Series Record: Michigan St. leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Michigan St. won, 84-59 (12-18-87)
Owls Flock North To Play No. 21 Spartans
Following a 77-64 home victory over Southern on Thursday, the Rice Owls women’s basketball team travels to East Lansing for a date against No. 21 Michigan State on Saturday. The Owls improved to 3-2 on the season with all three victories coming against members of the SWAC while Michigan St. carries in a 3-1 record, with their lone loss coming to Notre Dame in the season opener.
Briefly On The Owls
• Senior Jessica Kuster is coming off her second career 20/20 performance (26 points, 21 rebounds). The 20-20 game was the second of Kuster’s career and she tied her single-game career-high in rebounds (the 2nd most in a single-game in Rice history). The San Antonio, Texas native is now just eight points away from tying Pennie Goff (1,564 points, 1981-84) on the Owls all-time scoring list. The 26 points marked the eighth time in her career she scored 25 or more in a single-game, which is tied for the second most in Rice history.
Williams As a Shock assistant coach from 1998-2000, Williams helped lead the team to a 17-13 (.567) inaugural season record, which was the highest winning percentage by an expansion team in the history of the four major sports-(WNBA/NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) to go along with a 1999 WNBA playoff berth. Two years later, Williams became the Shock’s head coach and director of player personnel. He was the first person to be a head coach in three different women’s professional leagues. Meanwhile, Cross played for Williams for the Shock from 2001-04
• The Owls shot a sizzling 50.9 percent from the field in the win over Southern, marking the first time Rice shot over 50 percent or better in a game since in a victory at Memphis in 2011, shooting 50.3 percent.
• Junior Reem Moussa scored in double-figures for the second time this season on Thursday, tying her career-high set earlier this season with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 at the free throw line.
• 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 is one of only two seniors in America that averaged a double-double in their first three seasons, joining Middle Tennessee’s Ebony Rowe.
Rice vs. Michigan State
The Owls are 0-1 all-time against the Spartans, dropping their only meeting 84-59 back on Dec. 18, 1987. The Spartans have won three straight homes games after dropping the season opener at Notre Dame. MSU enters Saturday with four players averaging double-figures in points, led by freshman Tori Jankoska (16.8 ppg).
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.