Jan. 18, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Chantelle Handy tallied a career high 25 points as the Thundering Herd women's basketball team held off a late charge by East Carolina to grab an 85-83 win Sunday at the Cam Henderson Center.
Handy finished the day 11-of-13 from the floor while dishing out six assists and grabbing three boards.
"It was a wild game. There were a lot of swings, changes and crazy stuff especially down the stretch. I thought we played like a veteran team in that if any craziness happened," head coach Royce Chadwick said. "We were able to keep our head in the game and not cause ourselves back-to-back problems."
"I thought our freshmen arose to the occasion and did some really good things. Chantelle Handy was remarkable in what she was able to accomplish."
Marshall (10-7, 3-1 C-USA) shot .508 from the field, its seventh game hitting 50% of its shots or more. Last season the Herd hit that mark just three times. With the loss, East Carolina (10-7, 1-3 C-USA) falls to 1-3 in conference play. After winning its opener against the Herd, the Pirates have lost three straight conference games.
The win by Marshall kept a series streak alive. Since both teams have been in C-USA, the home team is a perfect 8-0.
Neither team was able to establish control of the contest in the first six minutes with neither team leading by more than two points as the game was tied on five occasions.
That changed at the 13:42 mark when jumpers by Tynikki Crook and Rashedah Henriques put the Herd up by six, 16-10. East Carolina stormed right back over the next minute and a half, reeling off nine of the next 11 on its way to a 19-18 edge.
With the score tied at 28-28 with 6:24 remaining in the half, Casey Baker powered the Herd on an 11-2 run to open up a 39-30 lead, its largest advantage of the game. Baker scored eight straight for Marshall, including two treys. A late 7-0 by ECU in the last 1:17 of the half closed the lead to two, 43-41, going into the locker room.
Marshall scorched the nets in the opening minutes of the second half, extending its lead by 14 points in the first 3:38 of the half. Chantelle Handy had the hot hand, recording eight points over that span as the Herd opened up a 58-42 lead.
ECU's defense clamped down at that point, holding Marshall to just a point over the next five minutes. The Pirates brought out the full court pressure, which forced the Herd into four turnovers and five points over that span.
With 7:18 left in the game, the Herd knew it had a battle on its hands when East Carolina closed a ten-point lead down to four with six minutes remaining. A 7-0 run over the next two minutes, five of those point coming from Rashedah Henriques, put MU up by 11.
Just when it looked like Marshall had the game in hand, the Pirates had yet another run in them, scoring 7 of the next 8 to cut the lead back to four with three minutes left on the clock. The teams exchange baskets over the next two minutes before Marshall held a 79-71 advantage with 46 seconds left.
A pair of treys brought the Pirates within three points before a layup by Young cut the Herd lead to two, 84-82, with seven seconds left. A foul sent Handy to the line with six seconds left. She hit one of two shots to put MU up by three. A quick foul sent ECU back to the line, after hitting the first free throw, they intentionally missed the second. The teams battled for the rebound as the remaining time ran off the clock and Marshall held on for the two-point win.
Handy led all players with 25 points. Just behind her was Baker, who put up 19 points, seven assists, seven steals and three rebounds. Crook had another stellar outing, scoring 13 points, grabbing seven boards and dishing out five assists. The five helpers marked a career best for Crook. Henriques rounded out the top scorers with a career day, tallying 11 points, a career high.
LaCoya Terry, who scored 17 in the first meeting two weeks ago, backed that up with 22 points while Jasmine Young chipped in 20 to go with five assists and five boards.
Neither squad held a large advantage on the stat sheet. Each team finished with 31 field goals and 19 turnovers. ECU held a slight 41-38 advantage on the glass while the Herd had the shooting advantage, .508-.456.
Marshall will look to extend its C-USA winning streak to four games as it plays host to UAB and Memphis next weekend. The Herd will tangle with UAB on Thursday at 7 p.m. before facing Memphis at noon on Saturday. Saturday's contest against Memphis will be nationally televised by CSS.