Marshall Dominates Second Half to Knock Off Memphis


10 different Marshall players scored in the upset.

10 different Marshall players scored in the upset.

Feb. 16, 2012

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An unstoppable second half offense combined with an efficient team effort helped the Marshall women’s basketball team upset the No. 2 ranked team in C-USA, Memphis. The Thundering Herd overcame a 12-point deficit with a 37-6 run in the second half to knock off the Tigers 65-54.

Marshall broke a three-game losing streak with the victory and improved to 14-11 (5-7 C-USA). Memphis dropped to 19-6 (9-3) with the defeat.

10 different players scored points for Marshall, while Rashedah Henriques led the Herd with 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

“There are a lot of numbers on the final stat sheet, but the thing that is most important to us is that our team played together,” said head coach Royce Chadwick after the win. “Our bench was into the game and our players were playing for forty minutes.”

The Marshall bench added 36 points during the contest. Jasmine Shaw led the bench with nine points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Orlandria Williams contributed eight points after making 4-of-5 from the field.

Chadwick continued, “Our team showed a ton of resiliency tonight and we fought through some hard times. Basically we showed what we are capable of doing. I’m very proud of my basketball team, from top to bottom.”

Alaya Mitchell tallied eight assists from her point guard position and the team as a whole recorded 19 assists.

Defensively the Herd limited the No. 38 nationally ranked offense to just 17-of-52 (32.7 %) from the field and limited the Tigers, who averages 71.0 points per game, to just 54. Marshall also kept the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, Brittany Carter, to just one made field goal.

The game was a tale of two halves as Marshall trailed Memphis 30-22 at halftime. Memphis was able to force the Herd to shoot under 30.0 percent from the field in the first half and was controlling the boards, out-rebounding the Herd 22-15.

The Herd turned things around at half time and earned the momentum after Victoria Wells snagged steals on three straight Memphis possessions to help Marshall trim the Tigers lead to 30-28.

Mitchell nailed a jumper with 16:56 left in the game to give Marshall its first lead since the beginning of the contest at 32-30.

The Marshall defense was impenetrable in the second half and held Memphis to just two made field goals in the first 13 minutes, allowing Marshall to go on a 37-6 run.

“We played really good defense and played one possession at a time,” noted Chadwick on the second half run. “We did it with an attack motive – every time we’re coming down the court, we’re attacking.

The Thundering Herd took its largest lead at 59-36, marking a 23-point advantage with 8:22 left in the game.

Memphis went on an 18-6 run in the final seven minutes, but Marshall’s lead was too substantial and the Herd held out for the win.  

The Herd limited Memphis to just seven made field goals in the second half, while Marshall was able to knock down 18 in the period. Marshall also tallied 13 assists during the half and only turned the ball over three times, while forcing Memphis to turn the ball over 12 times.

“We wanted this game so bad,” summed up Mitchell. “We had everything in the world against us. It felt like we couldn’t finish and we just had to keep our heads up. We came out knowing we had to produce today. We all collectively were just sick of losing, so we came out to win.”

Marshall women’s basketball will travel to Birmingham, Ala. for its next game against UAB. The contest will tip-off at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.