Jan. 13, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas- Marshall’s Veronica Ruiz scored a team-high 12 points but the Herd was unable to overcome an eight minute first half drought as Rice grabbed a 52-39 victory in Thursday night’s Conference USA women’s basketball game at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Thundering Herd has dropped four out of its last five to the Owls and has yet to earn a win at Tudor Fieldhouse. MU falls to 5-10, 1-2 C-USA, while Rice improves to 10-7, 2-1 C-USA and have won back-to-back contests.
Marshall’s Tynikki Crook capped off a 10-3 Herd run out of the opening tip, draining the second three pointer of her career.
The Herd held Rice’s forward duo of Jessica Kuster and Brianna Hypolite to just 2 points through the opening 10:06 minutes of action to take a 19-9 lead. But an 8:23 Thundering Herd drought opened the door for an Owls come back. Hypolite would shine with 11 of her 15 first half points coming during the span.
A pair of Veronica Ruiz free throws would put Marshall back on the board but Rice would take a 28-21 advantage at the break.
Marshall found itself down by four points following a Crook layup and Dorina Barrett three pointer but with Orlandria Williams sidelined by an injury, and Crook and Ruiz sent to the bench with four personal fouls apiece the Herd found itself with just five players available with 12:04 remaining in the contest.
The Owls gained a 38-29 advantage before Crook and Ruiz would return with 8:43 to go. The two immediately produced each connecting on short jumpers on back-to-back possessions to bring MU within five.
Megan Elliott and Kuster took advantage of the Herd’s foul troubles, driving at Marshall to combine for 10 of the Owls next 12 points to keep the Herd out of striking distance and take home the victory.
“We struggled with penetration, were never able to get into the lane,” head coach Royce Chadwick said. “When we lost Williams it really took a lot of wind out of our sails and a lot of people started thinking there is no sub for me and I’m going to have to play the whole night. Foul trouble was a huge burden for us all night long, we couldn’t keep our players on the floor and do what we wanted to do on the defensive end.”
Amenemop McKinney sparked Rice off the bench tallying 10 points in the second half. The junior tied her season-high with 12 points on the night.
Crook finished the night in double-digits, 11 points, for the 15th consecutive contest.
Despite opening the contest shooting 60 percent from the field, the Herd ended the night on 13-of-47, 27.7 percent.
The Thundering Herd continues conference action at home against Tulane on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 p.m., at the Cam Henderson Center. Marshall will take a break from C-USA play as it travels to Charleston to take part in the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic versus West Virginia on Jan. 19.