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Marshall Fights, Falls at Southern Miss

Junior Leah Scott

Feb. 12, 2014

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. – With help from four double-digit performances by Thundering Herd players, Marshall came close to upsetting host Southern Miss, Wednesday night, but was unsuccessful as it fell, 80-73, on Breast Cancer Awareness Night at Reed Green Coliseum.

With the loss, Marshall fell to 8-15, 1-9 in Conference USA, and Southern Miss improved to 18-5, 7-3 in league play.

“It was fun to coach our team tonight,” coach Matt Daniel said. “We have a lot of room for improvement but we have figured out who we are. We just have to get better at who we are.”

For the first time since a six-game stretch from Dec. 21 to Jan. 11, the Herd used the same starting lineup for the third consecutive game, with Norrisha Victrum (Columbia, S.C.) at the point, McKenzie Akers (Princeton, W.Va.) and Aja Sorrells (Athens, Ga.) at guard and Suporia Dickens (Freeport, Ill.) and Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.) rounding out the post.

Following a 0-of-4 start from the field, Marshall fell behind as a 10-0 Eagle run gave the Herd a 12-1 deficit. Marshall was without a field goal until the 16:27 mark, when a Leah Scott (Detroit) layup made it 12-3. After trailing by as many as 11, the Herd cut Southern Miss’ lead to two after an 8-2 run made it 18-16 at 9:55. Marshall kept USM’s lead in single digits for the remainder of the half, down only by four at the break, 35-31.

Sorrells opened the second half with a layup to cut the lead to 35-33, and Ezeigbo erased the deficit for the game’s first tie. After two more ties and two lead changes, Marshall rolled on an 8-0 run to go up, 50-42, for its largest lead. The Eagles clawed their way back with a 7-0 stint to make it 50-49, but the Herd held on with two free throws by Chelsey Romero (Hampton, Va.) and a Scott jumper.

A layup by the nations’ assist leader, Jamierra Faulkner, capped off a 15-second, 6-0 run at 2:37 to give Southern Miss its first lead since the 15:33 mark in the second half, at 68-66. Another tie ensued after two-made Scott free throws at 2:47, but USM’s Kierra Jordan completed an and-one to make it 71-68. A 6-2 run extended the Eagles’ lead to 77-70 with 30 seconds remaining. The Herd could not overcome USM’s late run and fell, 80-73.

The Herd’s 73 points is the most scored against a Conference USA opponent since putting up 85 in a one-point victory over UAB, Jan. 30, 2010. For the first time this season, Marshall lost when reaching the 70-point mark (previously 4-0). The Herd’s 25 turnovers is the most all season, since committing 25 at UCF, Feb. 7, 2013.

Scott led the way with 16 points on 6-of-9 from the field, and contributed a career-high six assists. Victrum followed with 14, and Ezeigbo and Romero each had 12. Ezeigbo matched her season high of four blocks, a stat which put her in sole possession of seventh place in the Marshall record book with 70 career swats. She has 33 this season, 11th place all-time.

Marshall will return to Cam Henderson Center to host Charlotte, Saturday, at 1 p.m. For all the latest information about Marshall women’s basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter.