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Women's Basketball Falls to East Carolina, 66-52

Junior Aja Sorrells

Feb. 5, 2014

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – For the second consecutive game, junior Aja Sorrells (Athens, Ga.) led Marshall women’s basketball offensively with nine points, despite a 66-52 loss to East Carolina, Wednesday evening at Cam Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd fell to 7-14, 0-8 in Conference USA as ECU improved to 19-3, 7-2 in league play. The Pirates have now won six of their last seven contests.

“Individual plays, I can see tremendous growth as a team,” coach Matt Daniel said. “We have lost eight in row. We are 7-14, but I don’t think our record reflects how good of a team we are. Our record doesn’t mirror the type of basketball we are so close to playing.”

Freshman McKenzie Akers (Princeton, W.Va.) earned her fourth career start, creating Marshall’s 10th different combination this season.

ECU never trailed as it jumped out to an 8-0 lead to begin the game, holding Marshall scoreless until the 16:16 mark. The Herd struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 4-of-22, 1-of-12 from 3-point range, and ended the period down, 40-19. Marshall’s 19 points were the least in a half since putting up 19 against Delaware State, Dec. 21. Turnovers also hindered the Herd in the first half, as it committed 13, off which the Pirates scored 12 points.

The Herd put up a fight to open the second half, going on an 18-to-5 run, cutting ECU’s double-digit lead to only eight at 45-37 at 12:27. However, the Pirates reacted swiftly, producing a 19-to-2 run over 8:04 to gain its largest lead of 25 with 4:23 remaining at 64-39. Marshall would allow only one more ECU field goal, at 3:10, ending the game on a 13-to-2 run. Despite the Herd outscoring the Pirates in the second half, 33-26, the final buzzer sounded with ECU on top, 66-52.

For the first time since a 68-52 loss to Tulane, Jan. 29, 2012, Marshall had no players in double figures. Sorrells led the Herd for the second consecutive time with nine points, as senior Suporia Dickens (Freeport, Ill.) and freshman Chelsey Romero (Hampton, Va.) followed with eight apiece. Leading-rebounder Dickens paced Marshall on the boards with nine.

Junior Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.) contributed three of the Herd’s six blocks, moving her into ninth place all-time in the Marshall record book. She is now tied with Keri Simmons, who swatted 63 from 1994-98. Ezeigbo needs two more to move into a tie for eighth place.

“I think this team is capable of going to the NCAA Tournament,” Daniel said. “Our activity level will decide our success as well as our mental focus. We are going to play hard, continue to battle, and close out every game.”

Next, Marshall will host Louisiana Tech in a 1 p.m. tipoff at Cam Henderson Center, Saturday. For all the latest information about Marshall women’s basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter.