Jan. 11, 2014
Final Stats | Quotes | Box Score | Postgame Press Conference
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. – A career-high performance of five three-pointers by junior AJ Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.) would not prove to be enough to salvage a Conference USA showdown with UAB, as the Thundering Herd fell, 63-57, Saturday afternoon at Cam Henderson Center.
With the loss, Marshall (7-8, 0-2) remains in the hunt for its first conference win of the season. The Blazers (9-6, 1-1) found their first C-USA win with the victory.
“I told the team before this game that the team who brings the most enthusiasm for the longest period of time would win this game,” coach Matt Daniel said. “I think that is what happened. We have to get more up and down on our roster.”
After battling to secure a 10-6 lead with 13:20 remaining in the first half, the Herd surged forward on a 9-to-0 run, spanning 3:21, to find its largest lead of the game at 13 points (19-6). That period saw four points from freshman Chelsey Romero (Hampton, Va.), an and-one conversion by junior Aja Sorrells (Athens, Ga.) and a Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.) put-back. The Blazers fought back on a 16-to-6 run of their own, over 7:21, to cut Marshall’s lead to 25-22 at the break.
UAB gained momentum coming out of halftime, going on a 7-to-2 run to find its first lead of the game of 29-27 at 18:33. However, the Herd remained resilient and took back its lead after a 10-to-2 run, with two threes from Johnson, to make it 37-31 in Marshall’s favor at 15:29. The teams would trade leads five times more, with three ties, until UAB settle into its game-deciding lead with 7:45 left to play. Marshall had no scorers in double figures until Johnson’s fourth trey of the game gave her 12 points with 5:38 remaining, making it 52-49, UAB. The Herd came within three points again with 1:23 after Johnson’s fifth three, but could not hold on in the final minute as UAB drained four foul shots to secure a 63-57 win.
Contrary to the average Marshall offense, which commits only 12.6 turnovers per game, the Herd turned it over 16 times to UAB. Marshall also found itself at a disadvantage in rebounding, 44-40. However, the Herd converted all 15 of its offensive rebounds for 15 second chance points. UAB’s leading scorer and rebounder, Karisma Chapman, finished with a double-double of 25 points and 11 boards.
Johnson is the 12th Herd player all-time to sink five threes in a game, tied for third place in Marshall program history. She is the first to do it since Shay Weaver did in a 68-61 loss to Southern Miss, Feb. 28, 2013.
Next, the Herd will take on two Texas teams in its first Conference USA road trip at North Texas (Jan. 15) and Rice (Jan. 18). For all the latest information about Marshall women’s basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter.