Jan. 29, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Down 17 points at the half, the Thundering Herd women's basketball team made a second half rally, taking the lead on two occasions, but it was not enough as Southern Miss came away with a 70-64 win Thursday evening at Reed Green Coliseum.
Tynikki Crook led the Herd (12-8, 5-2 C-USA) with 20 points, 15 coming in the second half.
The Golden Eagles (13-7, 6-1 C-USA) were outscored by the Herd, 22-8, in the first eight minutes of the second half. Marshall grabbed its first lead since the opening minute with 3:30 left in the game, but a late three and four made free throws put USM on top for good.
Southern Miss dominated the first half, taking a 39-22 halftime lead. It was a close contest early on, tied at 4-4 four minutes in. With the Golden Eagles holding a 6-5 advantage at the five minutes mark, they embarked on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to push their lead to 15-5.
Alyssa Hammond kept the Herd in the game, scoring nine straight Marshall points as the Herd would close the lead to as few as five points, 22-17, with six minutes remaining in the half. A 17-5 run to finish the half made it a 39-22 game in favor of USM at halftime.
The Herd regrouped at the half and opened the second stanza on a 10-2 run. Eight straight points by Casey Baker, including two straight treys, brought the Herd back within 11, 41-30.
Marshall continued to keep the pressure on, chopping the lead to three, 47-44 eight minutes into the second half following a steal and layup by Rashedah Henriques. With that basket, the Herd matched its number of points from the first half.
With 6:20 remaining in the game, a jumper by Chantelle Handy knotted the game at 51-51, the first tie since the game was 4-4 in the opening minutes. A three by Tanesha Washington put the Golden Eagles back on top, 54-51, but Alix Barnette hit a trey on the next trip down the floor to tie it back up. Washington struck right back for USM, hitting her second straight three-pointer to take the lead right back.
After a bucket by Crook and a foul, she had a chance to tie the game at 59, but after missing the shot, Handy grabbed the board and a Hammond shot put MU up 60-59, its first lead since 2-0. The lead was swapped back-and-forth, and with 1:59 left, a Crook shot put MU up 64-63.
On the next trip down the floor, a three by Kendra Reed proved to be the difference, putting the Golden Eagles up for good. They hit four late free throws to clinch the 70-64 win.
Along with her 20 points, Crook tallied seven rebounds. Baker scored 13 second-half points on her way to 16 for the day. She also tallied six assists. Alyssa Hammond finished with 14 points and seven boards.
Tanesha Washington led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Kendra Reed scored 12 points while Pauline Love, who had a double-double in the previous nine contests entering the game, was held to ten points and five rebounds.
Marshall won the battle of the boards, 34-32, after being outrebounded by eight in the first half. It also tallied 24 points in the paint while holding USM to 22.
The Golden Eagles finished with the shooting advantage, .491-.429.
The Thundering Herd will wrap up its two-game road trip at UCF on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at the UCF Arena.