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Women’s basketball narrowly loses to UTSA

By Zach Birenbaum     2/18/14 5:34pm

The Rice University women’s basketball team went 1-1 this past week, defeating the University of Tulsa on the road 75-59, but losing to the University of Texas, San Antonio at home 63-61. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Owls broke their five-game losing streak, defeating the Golden Hurricane.

The Rice University women’s basketball team went 1-1 this past week, defeating the University of Tulsa on the road 75-59, but losing to the University of Texas, San Antonio at home 63-61. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Owls broke their five-game losing streak, defeating the Golden Hurricane. Senior forward Jessica Kuster and junior forward Christal Porter both recorded a double-double, a feat that has not been reached by the Owls this season.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, the Owls hosted the Roadrunners and lost by a narrow margin. The game featured 16 lead changes and 10 ties. The Owls fell just short of the victory, failing to connect on an open three-point shot in the closing seconds of the game. The Owls shot only 28 percent from the field in the second half. Kuster led the team with 26 points and 13 rebounds. The Owls fell to an overall record of 11-13 and 4-7 in Conference USA play.



Kuster said sophomore guard Elena Gumbs, the Rice player who took the last shot, should not be faulted with the loss. She said the defeat can be attributed to minor mistakes made throughout the game.  

“[Gumbs] ended up taking the last shot, but we had so many little opportunities,” Kuster said. “[There are] so many things that could have made the difference for that one point, but if she had made it she would have saved us,” Kuster said. “That one shot in the grand scheme does not really mean a lot. We just made a lot of mistakes throughout the game.”

During the game, Kuster had her 21st double-double of the season, which is second in the nation. Kuster is just three shy of tying the record for all-time career doubles-doubles in C-USA history. Kuster said although the accolade is nice, winning is more important.

“It’s something cool to say or put in an article, but we’re not having the season that I would like to go out on,” Kuster said. “That is pretty much the main thing on my mind right now.”

Kuster said in preparation for the upcoming game against Old Dominion University, the Owls have key areas for improvement, both offensively and defensively.

“Defensively it’s going to be a challenge,” Kuster said. “We’re really going to have to focus on blocking out and containing. Offensively, we have to finish around the basket and limit our turnovers. Those are probably the two biggest issues that I see.”

Rice hosts Old Dominion on Wednesday, Feb. 19 before traveling to Ruston, La. to take on Louisiana Tech University this Saturday, Feb. 22. 



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