Women's Basketball Set to Meet Rice in Opening Round of C-USA Championship

Senior Roxana Button

March 5, 2012

No. 12 HOUSTON (3-25 • 2-14) vs No. 5 RICE (15-14 • 9-7)
 Time  7:30 p.m. • Wednesday, March 7, 2012
 Location  Elma Roane Fieldhouse (2,565) • Memphis, Tenn.
 Series History  Houston leads, 47-9
 Last Time  Rice 68, Houston 40 (2/23/12)
 Radio  Listen Live
 Houston Sports Network online broadcast powered by Stretch Internet
 Jeremy Branham, (play-by-play), Rusty Laverentz (Color)
 Live Video  C-USA Digital Network
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 C-USA Championship Bracket Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   Facebook Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Houston women's basketball team opens postseason play at the 2012 Conference USA Championship against cross-town rival Rice at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tenn.

Roxana Button and Amanda Lawson were each honored by the league on Sunday, as Button was named to the All-Conference USA First-Team and Lawson earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.

Button nabbed her first all-conference honor and extended Houston's streak of 12-straight years of at least one Cougar earning First-Team accolades dating back to the 2000-01 season, while Lawson became the first Cougar to garner All-Freshman Team accolades since the 2007-08 season when Cobilyn Hill and Courtney Taylor achieved the feat.

Button claimed the C-USA scoring title this season with 17.8 points per game, becoming just the third Cougar (Tye Jackson, Chandi Jones) to achieve the feat. Button also led the league in minutes played (38.1), 20-point games (12), 30-point performances (3) and made free throws (147) while scoring in double-digits in 25 of 28 regular-season contests.

Lawson led all freshmen in the league this season with 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, ranking 25th and 14th, respectively, overall in C-USA.

The Bryan, Texas, native scored in double figures in 12 contests this season, including 11 of 16 league games, where she averaged 10.0 points and 6.4 boards per contest.

With a win against fifth-seeded Rice, the Cougars would advance to the quarterfinals to face No. 4 UAB at 7:30 p.m., Thursday.

Rice has won two of its last three contests, including an upset of UTEP, to finish the regular season 15-14 overall and 9-7 in league play.

The Owls are scoring 60.1 points per game while limiting opponents to 56.6 points per contest. Rice is strong on the boards, ranking second in the league with 43.2 rebounds per game while also placing second in steals (10.9 spg) and third in turnover margin (+2.9).

Sophomore forward Jessica Kuster leads the Owls and ranks among the top three in the league in points (17.1 ppg), rebounds (10.9 rpg) and blocks (1.7 bpg). Senior Brianna Hypolite is also scoring in double figures with 10.5 points per game, while point guard D'Frantz Smart ranks second in C-USA in assists (4.2 apg) and third in steals (2.9 spg).

Houston and Rice renew the cross-town rivalry for the 57th time since the 1977-78 season, as the Cougars hold a dominating 47-9 advantage in the series.

Rice has defeated Houston in both meetings this season, escaping Hofheinz Pavilion with a 58-50 victory on Jan. 28th before posting a 68-40 rout on Feb. 23.

Roxana Button has averaged 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds against the Owls this season, while Amanda Lawson has added 12.0 points and 10.5 boards in the two meetings.

The two teams have met only once in the Conference USA Championship, as Rice knocked off Houston by a score of 74-69 in the second round on March 3, 2006.

The C-USA Digital Network will exclusively stream the first round and quarterfinals. Current subscribers to the C-USA Digital Network can click on the watch links and enter the password information to view the games. New and school-only subscribers can sign up for C-USA Digital Network Monthly for $14.95 at www.conferenceusa.com/allaccess/.



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