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Women's basketball unravels

By Teddy Grodek     2/20/13 6:00pm

Things are quickly deteriorating for the Rice women's basketball team, and it only has five games left this year to fix the season. After losing two more games this past weekend, the Owls find themselves tied for last in Conference USA, far from where they were originally predicted to finish this year. It may take a massive run in the C-USA tournament for this to be anything but a forgettable season.

This past weekend in New Orleans, the Owls played a strong first half against Tulane University. They entered the locker room down by only two, shooting above 30 percent and holding the Green Wave at 27 points. Their largest lead was only one point, but it appeared the game would stay competitive.

That is not what happened. The Green Wave pulled away in the second half, dropping 34 points during the second 20 minutes en route to a 61-45 win. A 10-2 run at the beginning of the second half put the game away.

Junior forward Jessica Kuster had another double-double, dropping 12 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Breion Allen contributed 10 points from the bench.

"I am disappointed with the loss," Head Coach Greg Williams said. "We couldn't overcome an 18-2 deficit in points off turnovers in the second half, which was the difference in the game."

The next Sunday against the University of Tulsa, Rice looked ready to avenge the loss, starting the game up 7-0 and not allowing a point for the first five minutes. A 23-18 lead at halftime gave the Owls hope for a big second half and a rare road win.

But Tulsa came out hot in the second half, launching a 12-2 run to take the lead back. The rest of the game was close, with neither team taking a commanding lead. The score was tied six times with three lead changes.

Continuing the unfortunate trend of the Owls' season, a 3-pointer did not fall in the closing seconds, and Tulsa hit a free throw to ice the game. The final score was 49-45.

Senior guard Jessica Goswitz played her best game of the season, with 12 points and leading the Owls in scoring. Sophomore forward Christal Porter was the other Owl to hit double digits, adding 10 points.

In the upcoming week, the Owls take on two below average teams at Tudor Fieldhouse - their best chance at winning the games left this season. A trip to the University of Central Florida, just under .500 in the conference, is followed by a trip to Marshall University. Marshall is currently tied with the Owls for last in the conference.

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