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.

Owls blow 14 point lead and lose to Coogs

Owls scored 4 points in final 9 minutes

Posted: February 10, 2013 -- 5:50 p.m. CST

HOUSTON, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) -- The Rice Owls have struggled to hold leads in Conference USA games this season. The trend continued Sunday afternoon. The Owls lost a 14 point lead in the final 13:53 and were defeated 53-51 by the Houston Cougars.

The Owls (10-12 overall, 2-7 in Conference USA) made 1 out of 10 field goals in the final 9 minutes of the ball game.

Jessica Kuster scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds; but, Kuster committed four turnovers down the stretch as the Owls struggled to score and struggled to get stops on defense.

The Owls shot just 30 percent (9 for 30 field goals) in the first half and failed to take advantage of the Coogs' 14 first half turnovers.

The Owls led 31-24 at halftime.

However, a 12-3 run early in the second half gave the Owls a 43-29 lead; but, Houston's Porsche Landry began to take over the ball game.

Landry, Houston's senior point guard, had been a nemesis to the Owls throughout her Coogs' career; and, she continued that domination in the second half with 15 points and three assists.

When Owls' freshman Megan Palmer scored a driving layup to put the Owls up 49-45, the Owls seemed to regain some lost momentum; but, Landry brought the Coogs back and tied the game at 51 with a huge three-point shot at the 2:02 mark of the ball game.

Owls' freshman guard Elena Gumbs missed a jump shot on the next possession; and, Houston freshman Marche' Amerson put the Coogs ahead with a driving layup from the baseline with 1:21 remaining.

The Owls had chances to tie the game in the final 81 seconds; but, Kuster missed a jump shot and turned the ball over.

The Coogs failed to score on their final possession.

After securing the defensive rebound, with seven seconds remaining, Owls' sophomore Christal Porter struggled dribbling the ball up the floor; lost the ball at halfcourt; picked up the ball and launched a 30-foot shot attempt as the clock expired. The ball clanged off the backboard; and, the Owls lost a heartbreaker.

Kuster's 22 points led the Owls. She was the only Owls player to score double digits. The Owls made just 8 of 29 field goals (27.6%) in the second half and turned the ball over nine times.

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