Herd Holds on Against Memphis with 55-54 Win


Chukwuka Ezeigbo had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Chukwuka Ezeigbo had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Feb. 3, 2013

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

Final Stats Get Acrobat Reader

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After starting the Conference USA schedule 0-6, Marshall women's basketball picked up its first league win, taking down Memphis 55-54 on Sunday in the Cam Henderson Center.

 The Thundering Herd is now 7-13 (1-6 C-USA) for the season and the win breaks an eight-game losing skid. The Tigers dropped to 13-9 (4-4 C-USA) with the loss.

"Boy, it's long overdue," said head coach Matt Daniel. "This league ... the scores aren't getting out of the fifties and we knew it was going to be a dogfight. We beat a good team tonight and I feel like we played our tails off again... played our hearts out."

Three-point accuracy was a catalyst to the Herd win as 10 of the 21 made field goals came from behind the three-point arch. The 10 made three-pointers ties a season-high that was previously set in a win against Jackson State. Before the Jackson State win, Marshall had not had 10 made three-pointers since the 2007 season.

Guard Shay Weaver contributed four of the 10 three-pointers, helping her earn a team-high 12 points. She went 4-for-9 from in three-pointers and all of her made field goals came from behind the arch.

"This game I think we were all really confident," said Weaver after the game. "For one the crowd was really loud and every time we got the ball, regardless where we were, he (Coach Daniel) was yelling out bang it. That gives you confidence when you hear a coach, no matter where you are, to shoot the ball. It makes you feel good and makes you want to shoot it."  

Chukwuka Ezeigbo and Suporia Dickens were a force on the boards, each totaling 10 rebounds apiece. Both had five or more offensive boards, helping Marshall have 21 rebounds off the offensive glass. The Herd was able to out-rebound Memphis, 42-39.

The Herd defense held the No. 36 ranked (1st in C-USA) offense in check, holding the Tigers to 54 points even though they had been averaging over 70 points per contest. Erica Woods led the Marshall defense with four steals.

Memphis was led by the top-ranked scorer in C-USA, Nicole Dickson, who recorded a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. The Tigers went 23-of-57 from the field, while Dickson personally went 9-of-18.

Marshall started the game with three-straight made three-pointers, two of which were supplied by Weaver. The three-point efficiency gave Marshall an 11-6 lead in the first eight minutes of play.

The Herd netted three more three-pointers in the next three minutes to jump to a 21-11 lead. A change of pace by Ezeigbo allowed Marshall to extend its lead to 27-17 with just under five minutes left in the half. The sophomore forward put in six points in the paint during the span.

At the half, Marshall controlled a 30-22 lead. Seven of Marshall's 11 made field goals in the first half were three-pointers and the Herd was 7-of-17 from behind the arch in the first 20 minutes. Offensive rebounds helped Marshall as well, as the Herd had 12 offensive boards compared to Memphis' six.

Marshall carried over the first half lead for 18 minutes of the second half. Memphis was able to claw back into the game in the final minutes and took its first lead with 2:07 left in the game after Bilqis Abdul Qaadir made a layup to give Memphis a 54-53 advantage.

After both teams traded missed shots in the final 1:30 of the game, Marshall was able to take control of the ball with 20 seconds left after forcing Memphis to commit a shot clock violation. With the game on the line, Dickens made a short jumper with five seconds left to take back the lead and win the game, 55-54.

Marshall will travel to UCF for its next game. The game will be featured on the Fox Sports Network and tip off starts at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 7.