Jan. 25, 2014
Postgame Press Conference | Final Book
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – With its first Conference USA win on the line, Marshall women’s basketball fell short versus the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Saturday evening, in front of a crowd of 637 at Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd dropped to 7-11, 0-5 in league play, while Tulsa improved to 9-7, 3-2.
“We don’t respond well to adversity and I do not know why that is,” coach Matt Daniel said. “I don’t know if it’s youth or immaturity. Maybe even both. We have to play better basketball and we have to turn around quick.”
Daniel started the same five for the second consecutive game – his eighth different lineup this season – with junior Aja Sorrells (Athens, Ga.) making her second career start and freshman McKenzie Akers (Princeton, W.Va.) with her third.
In spite of a blizzard that delayed Tulsa from arriving in Huntington until late Friday evening and moved the contest from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, the Golden Hurricane started the game on fire from behind the arc, going 5-of-5 in the first six minutes. A 10-to-0 run put the Hurricane ahead, 23-7, at 13:24. Tulsa kept a double-digit lead for the next 10 minutes of play, going up by as many as 16 points at three different times.
After a 16-to-4 run over 5:30, the Herd cut the Hurricane’s lead down to only four, at 40-36, with 2:17 before halftime. Senior Suporia Dickens (Freeport, Ill.) was a big part of Marshall’s surge, contributing nine points and three rebounds during that stretch. She ended the half well on her way to a double-double, with 12 points and nine boards.
Coming out of halftime, the Herd kept Tulsa’s lead in single digits until the 14:57 mark, when a Mariah Turner layup gave the Hurricane an 11-point advantage at 52-41. Less than a minute later, junior center Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.) fought through the defense for a putback, but Turner secured the double-digit lead once again at 13:04. The Golden Hurricane kept rolling, slowly but surely, with help from three treys by Kelsee Grovey in the final eight minutes. Tulsa went up by 20 points with 3:26 remaining, and went on to win by an 18-point margin, at 80-62.
“Tulsa did a great job at switching up their defenses tonight,” Daniel said. “When we do get the ball inside we’re turning it over. We have to make better basketball plays. We have to learn to handle adversity and success both. You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So something has to give.”
Dickens tied her career-high point total of 21, and in doing so, secured her third-career double-double (second of the season). She had 11 rebounds, marking her third game this season with 10 or more boards. Leah Scott (Detroit) recorded her seventh consecutive game of double-digit scoring with 10 points, and AJ Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.) contributed 10, as well.
Marshall’s bench contributed 45 points of the Herd’s 62, and had 20 in the paint. Both teams committed 12 turnovers, but the Herd held the edge in steals with nine to the Hurricane’s five. Marshall was outrebounded, 44-36, and had eight assists compared to Tulsa’s 20.
“We just have to do a better job,” Daniel said. “We missed some assignments early. Obviously we’re not just going to let kids shoot open shots. We weren’t really focused. I thought we would come out more focused. It’s been an interesting week with the off week. Tulsa was off as well. So, they had some time to put in new stuff, as did we. They did a better job with it than we did.”
Next, Marshall will continue league play on the road at UTEP (Jan. 29) and Old Dominion (Feb. 1). For all the latest information about Marshall women’s basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter.