Jan. 10, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Despite holding a 10-point advantage at halftime, Marshall was overcome by Southern Miss in the second half to fall in the Conference USA opener, 48-46, at Reed Green Coliseum on Thursday evening.
The Thundering Herd dropped to 6-8 (0-1 C-USA) with the loss, while Southern Miss improved to 9-5 (1-0 C-USA) for the season.
After scoring 32 points in the first half, Southern Miss' defense held the Herd to the least amount of points in a half since last February against UAB (14).
"They didn't necessarily change anything in the second half," commented head coach Matt Daniel on Southern Miss' comeback. "They flattened out and drove by us. We scored 14 point and turned it over 13 times and didn't execute play calls. You can't score 14 points in a half and expect to win any game.
"It was a unique game from a lot of standpoints," continued Daniel. "The vibe of the game was unlike anything we have played in this year. It will be a great learning experience for our players and staff hopefully."
Freshman point guard Norrisha Victrum led Marshall with a season-high 15 points after going 6-for-9 from the field and 2-for-3 in three-pointers. She also added five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Shay Weaver totaled 13 points off the bench after making four three-pointers. Chukwuka Ezeigbo followed with six points and led the Herd on the boards with seven rebounds.
Marshall was out-rebounded by Southern Miss, 34-31 and also totaled more turnovers than the Golden Eagles, 19-15, despite having eight steals.
Southern Miss was led by Jamierra Faulkner with 15 points. As the league leader in assists for Conference USA, she finished the game with eight assists.
Dickens scored Marshall's first points two minutes into the game, hitting a three-pointer at the top of the key. She and fellow forward Ezeigbo each totaled five points in the opening nine minutes, allowing Marshall to establish a 17-9 lead.
Southern Miss used tight defense to hold Marshall scoreless for the next four minutes and tied the score 17-17 with seven minutes left in the half.
A three-pointer from Southern Miss' Tiarra Pollnitz gave the Golden Eagles its first lead since the opening seconds of the game at 20-17, but Williams responded with two made free throws to retake the lead with 5:25 left in the half.
Marshall took advantage of going into the bonus with 4:45 left and went 3-3 from the free throw line in the closing minutes. Shay Weaver nailed a three-pointer from downtown to push Marshall's lead to 32-22 at halftime.
After the first 20 minutes, Victrum had 11 points and three rebounds. The freshman point guard went 4-for-6 from the field and also added two assists. As a team, the Herd was shooting 42.3 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes and had five made three-pointers.
Marshall controlled a double-digit lead for the first eight minutes of the second half until Southern Miss held the Herd scoreless for three straight minutes and trimmed the Herd advantage to just 39-37 with nine minutes left in the contest.
Marshall committed 11 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the second half, allowing the Golden Eagles to stole the lead with 7:30 left in the game at 41-39 after Jerontay Clemons netted a layup.
Southern Miss sustained the lead for the ensuing five minutes. Weaver made a free throw with 2:20 left in the game to make the score 46-43 and put the game within one possession.
Two made free throws from Faulkner sealed the Southern Miss comeback victory with 1:20 left in the game. Despite a last second three-pointer from Weaver, the Golden Eagles won the game 48-46.
Marshall will return to the Cam Henderson Center for its next game against Tulane. The Herd take on the Green Wave at Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.