Herd Topped by UCF, 67-52


Erica Woods

Erica Woods

Feb. 7, 2013

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Marshall women’s basketball fell in a nationally televised game to UCF on Thursday evening, 64-52, in the UCF Arena. The game was featured on Fox Sports Network and was the second television appearance of the season for the Thundering Herd.

The Herd dropped to 7-14 (1-7 C-USA) with the loss, while UCF improved to 8-14 (2-6 C-USA). The loss marks the seventh defeat in a row for Marshall women’s basketball when being showcased on television.

Erica Woods had a career night, totaling 20 points and surpassing her former career-high of 16. She tied a season-high in rebounds with eight, while also tying a season-high in steals with four.

“She is the solidarity that we have,” said head coach Matt Daniel about Woods. “We are asking her to do a lot and I’m sure she is fatigued, but she is someone who is mature enough to handle everything that is going on on the floor.”

Woods’ 20 points is the highest tally of any player for the 2012-13 season. The St. George, Bermuda native went 7-for-10 from the field and was efficient from the free throw line, going 5-for-6 from the stripe.

Suporia Dickens also set a career-high with 15 points, going 5-for-12 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line. She added five rebounds and three steals.

The Herd defense finished with 12 steals and five blocks and was able to force UCF to commit 18 turnovers. On the other hand, Marshall recorded 25 turnovers and UCF earned 17 steals against the Herd.

“They got after us pretty good and we didn’t handle it well,” Daniel remarked on the Herd turnovers. “When we don’t handle things well we are going to be in trouble. We have to take care of it better. It wasn’t nerves, I just think we were focusing on the wrong things.”

UCF was able to out-rebound the Herd 37-29 and totaled 14 offensive rebounds compared to Marshall’s five.

“Pitiful,” Daniel continued. “We haven’t run up against that so far this season. It was disappointing in a lot of facets of the game. We went over 40 percent from the field, but only 2-for-17 from the three. It was a bad night for us all around and I didn’t like how we handled the bad night.”

The Knights were led by Briahanna Jackson, who had 18 steals and seven steals. Erika Jones led on the boards with a game-high nine rebounds.

The first nine minutes of play showcased four lead changes as neither team could gain an upper hand until UCF earned eight points in a row to go up 16-10 with nine minutes left in the opening half.

Marshall’s defense was creating Knight turnovers in the first 13 minutes as the Herd had four blocks and five steals during the span, but Marshall was having trouble keeping the ball safe and had nine turnovers.

With six minutes left in the half, UCF was 4-of-7 in three-pointers. The accuracy helped the Knights extend their lead to 24-17.

Two consecutive steals by Marshall resulted in five points and helped the Herd trim the lead to 24-22 with four minutes left. The Herd finished the first half with a total of eight steals and forced 10 UCF turnovers.

At the half, Marshall trailed 32-27 due in part to 13 turnovers that lead to 12 UCF points off of turnovers. Marshall was 8-of-18 (44.4%) from the field, but went 1-for-7 in three-pointers. Erica Woods had seven points, five rebounds, four steals, and two assists in the first 20 minutes.

Woods had six-straight points in the first four minutes of the second half and she surpassed her season-high point total of 13 points with 15 minutes left in the game, but the Herd trailed 45-38.

UCF continued to exploit Marshall turnovers, tallying 14 steals with just under 12 minutes left in the game. Nineteen Marshall turnovers were turned into 17 UCF points off of turnovers as the Knights jumped to a 50-41 lead.

The Knights then went on an 18-5 run, totaling a 60-43 lead with six minutes left in the game. The offensive surge by UCF proved too much for the Herd and Marshall trailed by double-digits for the remainder of the game.

Marshall travels to Dallas, Texas for its next game against SMU. Tip off will start at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 10.