Feb. 21, 2013
Post Game Press Conference Video
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – For the third week in a row, Marshall women’s basketball protected home court as the Thundering Herd upset the No. 2 ranked team in C-USA, ECU, on Thursday night, 72-60. The game was played in front of a season-high 1,537 Marshall fans and displayed a contest in which the Herd never trailed.
“We beat a good basketball team,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “They are second in the league and the only team in the league to beat conference leader and probably conference champion, SMU. The environment tonight for the first ‘Reign Game’ was really impressive.”
Marshall improved to 9-16 (3-9 C-USA) with the victory and East Carolina dropped to 18-7 (8-4 C-USA). The win showcased the second week in a row in which the Herd upset the second-ranked team in C-USA as Marshall took down UTEP last week, 59-47.
“You have to earn respect and you establish a reputation,” Daniel continued. “Beating the last few teams we have, we have the respect of home court. I’m not saying we are going to win at home every night, but we are going to defend home court.”
The Herd had four players score double-digit points against the Pirates. Erica Woods and Leandra King each totaled 15 points, while Suporia Dickens and Norrisha Victrum both had 12.
King went 6-of-7 from the field and helped Marshall secure 30 points in the paint from her forward position. She finished the game with five rebounds and two blocks as well.
Woods finished the game 7-for-10 from the free throw line, tying a career-high in made free throws. She also added two three-pointers and had five rebounds.
Suporia Dickens also set a career-high in made free throws, going 6-of-6 from the line. As a team, Marshall had 33 trips to the free throw line and made 22 free throws, which was a catalyst to the Herd win as East Carolina only made eight free throws.
Chukwuka Ezeigbo led the team on the boards with nine rebounds, while Dickens followed with seven. Marshall and ECU tied in overall rebounds, earning 44 each.
Marshall was effective in protecting the ball, committing a season-low 12 turnovers. As a result, ECU was only able to capitalize on four points off turnovers.
“Part of the limited points off turnovers is not just out of the blue throwing it to them that leads to easy baskets, but turnovers from trying to make plays,” Daniel said. “You’re going to turn it over – I don’t care about that. I care about the lack of mental focus.”
Never trailing for the duration of the game, Marshall jumped to an 18-8 lead that was supported by a 9-0 run in the first ten minutes of play. ECU responded by cutting the Marshall lead to 22-18 after scoring seven straight points in the following three minutes.
The Herd stole back the momentum and held a 37-27 lead at halftime. Dickens and Woods each had eight points for the Herd after the first 20 minutes and Marshall was shooting 48.3 percent from the field (14-of-29).
ECU had a 9-2 run to start the second half, trimming the Herd advantage to 41-38 with just under 13 minutes left in the contest. King urged on the Herd with seven points in ensuing five minutes of play, helping Marshall extend its lead to 56-47.
King went on to make a free throw with 4:30 left in the game, essentially securing the game for Marshall. The free throw gave Marshall a 62-48 lead and despite multiple personnel changes by the Pirates in the waning minutes, Marshall held on for the 72-60 win.
The Thundering Herd will travel to Rice for a 3 p.m. game on Sunday. After the Rice contest, Marshall will only have one more road game which will be a game against Memphis on March 7.