Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, September 26, 2022 — Houston, TX

Williams wins 100th game as women's coach

By Teddy Grodek     2/1/12 6:00pm

If you are going to be a good team, you have to beat the bad teams. That's exactly what the women's basketball team did when it took the floor this past week against two of the worst teams in C-USA, hoping to propel itself above .500 for the season.

It was a big weekend for Head Coach Greg Williams as he searched for two career milestones: his 300th victory in his career and his 100th victory at Rice.

Road wins had been difficult for the team, which had been struggling as of late to beat anyone on the road. After a few heartbreakers, the team looked forward to a home game against East Carolina University (6-14, 0-7 C-USA) and then a practical home game across town against the University of Houston.



Thursday night, en route to 300, the Owls cruised – jumping out to a 16-5 lead. Sophomore Jessica Kuster, who came out hot the week before, led the team with five of those points. The roll continued and the score at halftime was 33-16.

Few inside the gym believed that the Pirates had any chance of coming back;they looked flat in the first half, only shooting 25 percent.

The second half was simply more cruising for Rice, which never let its lead diminish. They ended up winning by a final margin of 66-44. Kuster finished the game with 21 points and seven rebounds, followed by guard senior D'Frantz Smart who had 10.

Coach Williams did not think too long about it being his 300th victory.

"It is nice, but I've been blessed with a lot of great players at Houston, Colorado State and at Rice, and all of the credit in the world goes to the players," Williams said. "All this means is that I have had a lot of great players and have stayed in the business awhile."

The following Saturday the Owls were bussed across town to Hofheinz Pavilion to take on the Lady Cougars of the University of Houston (2-17, 1-6 C-USA). UH, which only had one win in its entire non-conference schedule, is widely considered one of the worst teams in C-USA.

Rice, which scored the first basket, never gave up the lead in the contest. Rice went into the locker room up eight by a 30-22 count.

UH had one last minute run, cutting the lead to single digits. Rice made their free throws once the Cougars started fouling at the end of the game, winning by a 58-50 margin.

Jessica Kuster had her ninth double-double of the season, recording 19 points and 16 rebounds. Junior guard Jessica Goswitz finished with 16 points, her highest total of the season.

The win, Coach Williams' 100th, put the Owls above .500 for the season. It moved them into the top four inside C-USA.

The upcoming week, the Owls play Marshall University (12-8, 3-4 C-USA) in West Virginia – one of their longest road trips of the season – on Thursday. It will be a test of the Owls' ability to travel and play in games they need to keep winning to stay on top of C-USA.

The following Sunday, the Owls take on the University of Texas at El Paso (19-2, 8-0 C-USA) at home, the top team in the conference. UTEP has not lost a game inside C-USA yet and is approaching 20 wins for the season. It will surely be a test of the Owls' hopes for the rest of the season to compete with the Miners.



More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 9/21/22 12:23am
50 years later, Rice’s first Black student-athletes reflect on their impact

Stahlé Vincent came back to Rice over the weekend. But this time, he got a different reception than he did when he first set foot on campus over five decades ago. “[When I first got here] there was not an open-arm reception,” Vincient said. “There were people who never spoke [to me], people avoided me, I had professors who wouldn’t call my name at roll. There was an animus there that you could feel.”

SPORTS 9/21/22 12:20am
After 350 wins, Volpe still isn’t thinking about her legacy

During her 19-year tenure, Rice volleyball head coach Genny Volpe has led the Owls to seven NCAA tournaments, two conference championships, 14 winning seasons and, as of Aug. 26’s victory over the University of Houston, 350 wins. With the Owls back in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s top 25 as of Monday, those numbers seem poised to keep improving. This is a flooring amount of success for a program that had never even been to the tournament until Volpe was hired, but she is far from willing to take sole credit. 

SPORTS 9/21/22 12:17am
Volleyball upsets No. 17 Creighton, jumps into top-25

On Sunday, a flock of birds rose victorious above Tudor fieldhouse and it wasn’t a band of blue jays. After five intense sets, the Owls team took down No. 17 Creighton University on a second match point, capping off a tournament which started off with a reverse sweep of Big 12 opponent Kansas State University. After missing out on the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top 25 last week by one spot, the defining weekend was enough to jump the Rice volleyball team to No. 23 on the rankings. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.