The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

Rice Owls 74, Texas State Bobcats 61

Jessica Kuster's 8th double-double (19 points & 18 rebounds) this season helps Owls beat Bobcats

Posted: December 31, 2013 -- 5:32 pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) -- The Rice Owls spotted the Texas State Bobcats the first nine points of the ball game and outscored the Bobcats 34 to 9 the rest of the first half and earn a 74-61 win Thursday night in front of an announced crowd of 333 friends and family.

Owls' super senior Jessica Kuster scored the Owls' first two points of the game and started a 9-0 run to tie the game at nine.

After the Bobcats went up 11-9, Breion Allen scored a driving layup to tie the game at 11 and begin a 25-7 run for a 34-18 halftime lead.

The Bobcats shot an opponents' low 21.2% in the first half. After making 4 of their first 10 field goals, the Bobcats made only three of their last 23 attempts in the half.

Contrary to the Bobcats' woeful shooting, the Owls shot 45.5% (15 for 33) in the opening 20 minutes. Despite playing only 12 first half minutes, Kuster tallied 9 points (4 for 8 field goals) and 9 rebounds.

The Owls (5-5) led 38-18 in the second half; but, the Bobcats (1-6) began a methodical comeback over 16 minutes to pull within five points (60-55) with 3:14 remaining in the ball game. To make matters worse for the Owls, Kuster was on the bench with four fouls.

However, sophomore guard Elena Gumbs swished a three-point shot to put the Owls up 63-55. Teammate Alyssa Lang nailed two free throws for a ten point lead with 2:25 left in the game.

The Bobcats were unable to get closer than 8 points in the final minutes.

The Owls dominated the boards with a 55-32 advantage. Kuster pulled down 18 rebounds to go along with her game-high 19 points for her eighth double-double of the season. Gumbs added 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and one assist off the bench. Lang chipped in 10 points.

The Owls' bench players scored 40 of the team's 74 points.

The Owls take time off for final exams and Winter Break before hosting the Houston Cougars Friday, December 20, at 11 a.m. (Yes, 11 a.m.)

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