Feb. 22, 2014
RUSTON - Jessica Kuster and Christal Porter both recorded double doubles to lead the Rice Owls to a 61-56 win over Louisiana Tech Saturday night in Conference USA action at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Tech (8-18, 3-10 C-USA) couldn't overcome a torrid shooting night that saw it hit only 28 percent (17-60) of its field goals, including only 4-of-20 with the game on the line down the stretch.
"We missed a lot of easy ones in the first half," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We never got into any kind of offensive rhythm. We settled way too much for jump shots, instead of attacking the basket consistently. When we did, we got to the free throw line. We just didn't do it enough."
Kuster scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Porter added 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Owls to their second win over LA Tech this season. Rice prevailed 82-68 in Houston on Jan. 15.
Despite Tech's cold shooting, the Lady Techsters still had opportunities down the stretch to tie the game or take the lead. However, Tech failed to pull down crucial defensive rebounds a couple of times that ultimately cost it the game.
Tech trailed 50-46 with just over two minutes to play when the Lady Techsters forced Kuster into an 18-foot jumper shot that came up short. However, Porter corralled the offensive rebound between two Tech players and laid it in off the glass to push the lead to 52-46.
After a Lulu Perry three-pointer - Tech's only of the game - cut the deficit to 58-55 with 23 seconds to play, the Lady Techsters fouled Rice guard Reem Moussa who went to the line to shoot two with 20 seconds to play. Moussa missed both free throws but once again Tech failed to pull the defensive rebound down as Nakachi Maduka did and was fouled. Maduka hit both free throws to push the lead back out to five.
Trailing 23-20 at the half, the Lady Techsters came out of the locker room and appeared to find some offensive chemistry, hitting 6 of their first 7 shots after intermission. However, Rice kept Tech just out of reach as the Lady Techsters never led in the second half.
After Tech's quick start in the second half, it went cold again, making only 4 of the final 20 shot attempts down the stretch. Tech did hit 21-of-29 free throws, including 15-of-17 in the second half.
Tech committed a season-low six turnovers in the game, including only one in the first 26 minutes of action.
Frazier and Perry each scored 14 points for Tech while Walter added 12 points.
The Lady Techsters will return to action Wednesday when they travel to face Old Dominion in Norfolks.