Jan. 17, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Despite outscoring Tulsa in the second half, Marshall was unable to overcome a first half deficit and fell to the Golden Hurricane, 67-49, on Thursday evening in the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The Thundering Herd dropped to 6-10 (0-3 C-USA) for the season, while Tulsa earned its first league win and improved to 6-10 (1-2 C-USA) with the win.
Three Marshall players totaled double-digit points including Shay Weaver, Suporia Dickens and Chukwuka Ezeigbo. Weaver led the Herd with 12 points, while Dickens earned 11 and Ezeigbo posted 10.
Dickens and Erica Woods anchored the Herd defense as Woods totaled four steals and Dickens earned three steals and two blocked shots. The defense posted a season-high 15 steals and forced Tulsa to 23 turnovers, compared Marshall's 16.
Leandra King came off the bench to grab a team-high eight rebounds. Though, the Herd was outrebounded by Tulsa, 41-25, giving Marshall its worse rebounding margin of the season.
Tulsa went 51.1 percent from the field and was 10-for-16 in three-pointers. The Golden Hurricane was led by freshman Kelsee Grovey with 20 points after going 8-for-12 from the field and netting four three-pointers. The second-best scorer in Conference USA, Taleya Mayberry, earned 18 points and added eight assists and seven steals.
"It is a great time to really evaluate everything that's going on," noted head coach Matt Daniel after the game. "I told them that I would self-evaluate and I even told my staff to give me things that I need to work on. Because that's all I know how to do is get back to work. The main thing we have to do is not have separation - between staff and players and between players and players. It's hard to do when everyone is frustrated and trying to win."
A constricting man-to-man defense limited Marshall in the first three minutes of play and allowed Tulsa to go ahead 8-0. Marshall's defense slowed the fast-paced Golden Hurricane offense in the following four minutes and after an and-one play by Suporia Dickens, the Herd trimmed the lead to 12-9.
Tulsa was shooting over 73 percent (11-for-15) from the field in the opening 13 minutes. The accurate shooting helped the Golden Hurricane maintain a 23-14 lead over Marshall.
In the final four minutes of play in the opening period, Tulsa was able to go on an 8-0 run and the Herd trailed the Golden Hurricane, 38-19, at halftime.
Tulsa's post players troubled Marshall's defense after the first 20 minutes as the Golden Hurricane featured 22 points in the post, compared to the Herd's eight.
Shay Weaver led Marshall with eight points in the opening period. The Herd struggled in the field, going 7-of-30 in the first half. Contrarily, Tulsa was shooting over 60 percent in the first half and was led by Mayberry with 14 points.
"I thought it was a rough first half for us," said Daniel. "I didn't think we had much fight in us, we didn't practice very well in the past two days. I was a little concerned about it, but we challenged them at the half and we won the second half by one point."
The Herd never led for the entirety of the game, but was able to out-score Tulsa, 30-29, in the second half. Marshall shot 45.8 percent (11-for-24) from the field in the closing 20 minutes and had 11 of its 15 steals in the second period.
"It was a change of attitude because we sprang from the locker room, straight on to the floor and got the first defensive stop," commented Daniel on the second half turnaround. "We didn't even warm up, which proves that it's the mentality. We didn't have to go get loose or go do anything. Mentality is huge."
Marshall forced Tulsa on their heels to start the second half, going on a 14-3 run in the first four minutes. The change of momentum brought the deficit to 43-34 with 14 minutes left in the game.
Tulsa hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the lead back to double-digits and the Golden Hurricane sustained a 55-43 lead with 9:30 left in the game.
The Golden Hurricane held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game and the Herd fell to Tulsa, 67-49 at the final buzzer.
Marshall will return to the Cam Henderson Center for its next game against Houston. Tip off begins at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 20.