Jan. 31, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. - A gutsy team performance, coupled with some timely free throw shooting gave Marshall head coach Royce Chadwick his 500th career victory as the Thundering Herd women's basketball team took down UCF, 77-75, in overtime Thursday at the UCF Arena.
Victory No. 500, also Chadwick's 100th win at Marshall, did not come easy. Marshall (12-9, 4-3 C-USA) held a three-point lead with under four seconds remaining in regulation. A missed free throw gave UCF (8-12, 1-6 C-USA) the ball and with time running out, Angelica Mealing hit a three from half court to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, the Herd was able to overcome an early deficit to take its fourth Conference USA win of the season.
Chadwick was pleased to reach the milestone, but was happier about the way his team was able to come back following a tough ending to regulation. "I saw frustration, we had to overcome an error at the end of regulation," Chadwick said. "Our kids came back and fought."
The first half featured significant runs by both teams. The Knights took an early 8-4 lead before a pair of free throws by Tynikki Crook began what would turn into a 17-0 run over a five-minute stretch that would see the Herd with a 21-8 lead. Part of Marshall's early success can be attributed to its ability to crash the glass on the #19 rebounding team in the nation, grabbing 11 of the first 13 rebounds in the game.
UCF fought right back, dropping the margin to only five points (23-18) after connecting on a pair of threes. Marshall would hit two quick shots to take a nine-point lead, but UCF's defense would clamp down at that point, holding the Herd without a point for a six-minute stretch while cutting the Marshall lead to one point, 27-26, with 2:48 remaining in the opening period..
Marshall would finish the first stanza on a high note, extending the margin to 36-28 at the half. After Alyssa Hammond ended the scoreless streak, Casey Baker took over. She would knock down a three thanks to an assist from Chantelle Handy before hitting two lay-ups in the final 1:17 of the half.
The Knights opened the second half on fire, tallying 11 of the first 13 points to take their first lead since early in the first half. UCF held Marshall without a field goal for roughly four minutes before Meagan Samis
hit a lay-up with 15 minutes remaining.
Things remained close from that point on with neither team taking control of the game. The game was tied with under two minutes remaining in regulation, but a shot by Crook gave the Herd a two-point advantage. Two free throws by Meg Withrow extended the lead to four with a minute remaining.
In the ensuing possession, Emma Cannon hit her sixth bucket of the half to cut the lead to two. Following a made free throw by each team, the Herd found itself up two with under five seconds remaining. A foul sent Melody Hudson to the line where she would make the first, however, after missing the second, Angelica Mealing took the rebound and hit a desperation shot from half court to send the game into overtime.
UCF grabbed a three-point lead early in the extra period, but some timely free throw shooting by Marshall proved to be the difference as the Herd hit 7-of-10 shots from the charity stripe to escape with the 77-75 win.
For the fourth time in five games, senior Meagan Samis led the team in scoring with 13. She also led the team with nine rebounds. Casey Baker also had 13 points while notching eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Alyssa Hammond registered 12 points while Tynikki Crook and Chantelle Handy had 11.
Marshall's play on the boards against the No. 19 rebounding team in the country was admirable, holding them to only 34 while grabbing 40 rebounds.
Tia Lewis, the leading rebounder in C-USA, finished with ten boards and 14 points. Emma Cannon led all scorers with 19 points and a game-high 12 boards.
With win No. 500 out of the way, Coach Chadwick took some time to reflect on his career. "A lot of people helped me get here, looking back at my father, he always supported me," Chadwick said. "I also have to thank my daughters and my mother for everything they have done and also our boosters, who have made everything possible."
The win also marked his 100th at the university. He is the third coach in program history to reach that milestone.
Chadwick will look for his 501st victory as the Herd travels to face Southern Miss on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Golden Eagles enter the game with an 11-9 record following an 86-70 loss to East Carolina on Thursday.