Women's Basketball Hosts Stephen F. Austin

Christal Porter scored 13 points and had nine rebounds against Chicago State.

Dec. 14, 2012

Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (4-4, 0-0 SLC) at Rice Owls (4-4, 0-0 C-USA)

Game 9 • Saturday, December 15, 2012 • 2 p.m.

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

Series Record: Rice leads 3-2

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The Last Meeting
Stephen F. Austin68(OT)
December 20, 2011
Nacogdoches, Texas
Owls Lose 68-64 to SFA in Overtime
Tammara Marion scored a team-high 20 points to lead SFA to a 68-64 overtime win over the visiting Rice Owls Tuesday night in Johnson Coliseum. Rice is now 5-6 on the season, while SFA improves to 9-2.

Rice Puts Two-Game Winning Streak On The Line Against Stephen F. Austin

The Owls play their second game in less than 48 hours as Stephen F. Austin comes to Tudor Fieldhouse. Rice is coming off of a 68-42 victory over Chicago State, and a win would give the Owls their longest non-conference winning streak since 2010-11. The Ladyjacks have dropped 3 of 4 after a 3-1 start, with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of Oklahoma State. Rice is playing two games in three days for the second time this season, after dropping two games at Tennessee and Tennessee Tech in November.

Briefly On The Owls

Jessica Kuster and Megan Palmer have posted double-doubles in each of the last two games, with Kuster posting three straight double-doubles

• The Owls are 30-15 in Tudor Fieldhouse since 2009-10, and 9-3 in the 2012 calendar year.

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

Jessica Kuster is third in C-USA in scoring and second in rebounding and is only one of two players in C-USA to have averaged a double double this season.

Megan Palmer is fourth in points and second in rebounds among C-USA freshmen

• According to WBBState.com's RPI calculations, Rice ranks 107th in the RPI, which ranks ahead of schools such as AP No. 18 Texas, TCU, Arizona, USC and BYU.

Rice vs. Stephen F. Austin

Rice has met Stephen F. Austin five times, despite only being separated by 146 miles. The Owls lead 3-2 in the series, and have won both of the contest played in Houston, most recently in 2010-11, a 59-54 victory. The programs met for the first time in 2003-04.

Owls Set Highs Against Chicago State

The Owls dominated against Chicago State, setting season-highs for margin of victory (26), largest lead (32), points in the paint (36), points off turnovers (25), and second chance points (22)

Owls Engineer A Comeback

Rice came back from down 31-20 to defeat McNeese State 60-51 on Dec. 1, the largest comeback for the Owls since Feb. 28, 2008, when the Owls fought back from a 25-13 deficit to defeat Marshall 68-64. In the Dec. 1 game, the Owls used an 11-0 run to take the lead in the second half.

Rice Making FTs

Rice leads Conference USA in Free Throw Percentage at .706, with six of the 11 Rice players who have shot free throws making shots at a 70% rate or better.

Palmer Making An Impact

Megan Palmer scored 24 points against McNeese State, the most points scored by a Rice freshman since Dec. 30, 2010 when Jessica Kuster scored 26 at Texas State. She is averaging 11.5 points per game, which would be the most for a Rice freshman since Kuster in 2010-11 and the second-most in the Greg Williams era (since 2005-06).

Rice Ranks Third In C-USA RPI

According to WBBState.com, Rice ranks 107th in their RPI projection. Rice ranks third in C-USA in RPI and ranks ahead of other notable schools such as No. 18 Texas, TCU, Arizona, USC and BYU.

Rice Against Top Mid-Majors

Rice has faced two ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll. UALR, who defeated Rice on Nov. 24, is currently ranked 22nd in the poll, and McNeese State, who Rice beat on Dec. 1 was ranked 17th at the time and is receiving votes currently. Lamar, who Rice is slated to play on Dec. 30 is receiving votes in the poll. Rice, as a member of Conference USA, is not eligible for the poll.

Can't Stop Griner...But Everyone Else?

Rice fell to No. 3 Baylor on Nov. 27, in large part due to national player of the year Brittney Griner. The Bears outscored Rice 59-22 when Griner was on the court, but the Bears only were a possesion better than Rice at 30-27, during the nearly 18 minutes Griner was on the bench.

Griner's Return To Houston

Baylor senior Brittney Griner, a native of Houston, returned home on Nov. 27 with her Bear teammates to take on the Owls at Tudor Fieldhouse, an 89-49 victory for No. 3 Baylor. The teams played in front of a Tudor Fieldhouse record 2,318 fans.

Championship Pedigree

Rice plays three of the last four schools to win a national championship in 2012-13, having lost to 2007 and 2008 champion Tennessee on Nov. 15, 2012 champion Baylor visits Houston for this game and 2011 champion Texas A&M hosts Rice on Jan. 1. Rice does not play UConn, who won the 2009 and 2010 titles.

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.

Last Time Against Stephen F. Austin (Nov. 18, 2011)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Tammara Marion scored a team-high 20 points to lead SFA to a 68-64 overtime win over Rice. SFA led 29-18 at the half, but Rice outscored SFA 29-8 in the first 11:45 of the second half with Brianna Hypolite providing 16 of those points and gave the Owls their biggest lead of the game at 51-40 (6:08). SFA then battled back by going on a 13-4 run to be down only by two at 55-53 with the ball and 4.3 on the clock. SFA's Tammara Marion then drove right baseline and drained a floater to tie the ballgame and force overtime. SFA outscored Rice 15-4 in the final 6:08 of the game. A Hypolite trey gave Rice a 58-57 lead in overtime, but it was short lived as SFA rattled off the next 9 points for a commanding 66-58 margin. Hypolite hit another three-pointer at the buzzer to make it 68-64.

Baylor Game Sets Attendance Record

The Tudor Fieldhouse attendance record for women's basketball was set on Nov. 27, when No. 3 Baylor visited the Owls. It was the largest Rice home crowd for women's basketball since Feb. 22, 1998, when a school-record 3,704 fans came to Autry Court to see Rice upset No. 16 Hawai'i 76-71.

Eyes On The Owls

On Nov. 15, 10,981 fans saw the Rice Owls take on Tennessee in Thompson-Boling Arena, the largest crowd to watch a Rice women's basketball game since Nov. 22, 2004, when 11,876 fans saw Rice take on Texas Tech.

O wls Start Strong Against Lady Vols

Despite falling in the contest 101-48, Rice scared No. 24 Tennessee, leading the Lady Vols until the 9:05 mark of the first half. Rice and Tennessee traded baskets for the first three possessions, before the Owls took the lead at 8-6 with 17:25 remaining in the first half. The Owls led by as much as 6, at 22-16. Jessica Kuster at several points had as many points as the entire Lady Vol team, starting the game 5-for-5 with 12 points. The Lady Vols took the lead at 23-22 with a Cierra Burdick jumper and did not trail afterwards.

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

Southern Illinois .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

Cal State Fullerton 1.000 13 13

Rice 1.083 13 12

Kuster Reaches 1,000 Points

Jessica Kuster became the 18th Rice player to reach 1,000 points in a career with 16 points against Tennessee on Nov. 15. She is the eighth Rice player to have reached the 1,000 point plateau in her junior season. Morgan Mayse was the last Rice player to reach 1,000 points, accomplishing the feat in 2010-11. At two games into her 3rd season, she is the quickest Rice player to reach 1,000 points.

Rice At Tennessee In Historic Game

On Nov. 15, Rice opened a new era in women's basketball, as the Owls faced Tennessee in the Lady Vols' first home game since 1973 with someone other than Pat Summitt 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 Alzheimer's.

Senior Reward

For the second consecutive year, Rice took a senior to her hometown to play a non-conference game. Jessica Goswitz of Knoxville's Webb School played in front of 60 friends and family members at Tennessee on Nov. 15. D'Frantz Smart, currently a student assistant for the Owls, played in front of her family at Chicago State last season, a 77-50 win for the Owls. The product of Chicago's Whitney Young High School had five assists and eight steals in that game. All of Rice's other seniors since 2010-11 have been from Texas.

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 the league's coaches.

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 30-15 since 2009-10 at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls are 12-6 in their home since the start of 2011-12 and three of four this season.





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