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Late Mistakes Trouble Herd in 71-61 Overtime Loss

Suporia Dickens totaled a career-high 21 points.

Feb. 24, 2013

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HOUSTON, Texas – Marshall women’s basketball gave up a 15-point advantage to Rice in the final seven minutes and lost to the Owls, 71-61, in the first overtime game of the season.

The Thundering Herd dropped to 9-17 (3-10 C-USA) with the loss, while Rice improved to 12-14 (4-9 C-USA). Marshall is still searching for its first Conference USA road victory and has one more opportunity remaining with a game against Memphis on the road, March 7.

Suporia Dickens led the Herd with a career-high 21 points after going 5-for-9 in three-pointers. The 21 points is the most points scored by a Marshall player since Tynikki Crook had 32 against George Washington on Dec. 2, 2010. Dickens was one rebound shy of a double-double, totaling a team-high nine boards.

Shay Weaver followed with nine points and six rebounds, while Orlandria Williams recorded eight points. Erica Woods tied a career-high in assists with five.

Marshall went 9-of-28 in three-pointers, but made eight of the three-pointers in the first half. Dickens’ five three-pointers ties for third in Marshall’s all-time history for three-pointers made in a game.

The Herd limited turnovers to just 11, but had trouble creating Rice mistakes as the Owls only had five turnovers. Rice took advantage of the Marshall mistakes, finishing the game with 21 points off turnovers, while Marshall only had seven.

“They changed the defense on us a little bit -- stymieing us,” head coach Matt Daniel said in response to the late game mistakes. “Fatigue is a factor, turnovers are a factor. They close the game on a 29-4 run. You can’t win a game like that. We were up 15 with six minutes to go. We should have won the ball game, plain and simple.

“Even if you can’t score, you can guard,” continued Daniel. “That’s how we have won games. If we hold them to 27-4 to close the game, we win. There is no excuse for it.”

Marshall made four three-pointers in the first seven minutes of play, helping the Herd take a 16-11 advantage.

Rice responded with an 11-point run, taking over the lead 22-16 with seven minutes left in the opening period. The Owls were using strength on the boards to control the lead, nearly doubling Marshall’s rebounding output (23-12) in the first 16 minutes.  

Weaver used a three-pointer to trim the Rice lead to 22-21 with three minutes left in the half and Dickens nailed back-to-back-to-back three-pointers in the closing two minutes, helping the Herd cap a 14-point run and steal back the lead, 30-22, at halftime.

Dickens tied her career-high of 15 points in just the first 20 minutes. She made five three-pointers in the opening half, surpassing her previous career-high of four. As a team, Marshall went 8-of-18 from behind the three-point line, while the Owls went 2-of-7.

In the second half, Rice then went on an eight-point run to trim the Marshall lead to 37-36 with 13:30 left in the game.

Contributions from Marshall’s post players Leandra King and Veronica Ruiz helped Marshall maintain the lead and control a 46-40 advantage. The two combined for nine points in the paint in a span of three minutes.

King and Ruiz’s addition helped Marshall go on a 15-4 run, giving the Herd its largest lead at 57-42 with 7:30 left in the game. Rice then responded with a 10-point run of its own to make the score 57-52 with 2:40 left in the game.

Marshall had only committed six turnovers in the first 36 minutes of the game, but totaled three on three-straight possessions to help Rice tie the score with 1:20 left in the contest. Rice’s Alyssa Lang made two free throws to put the score at 57-57. Lang then followed with a made layup on the ensuing possession to give Rice a 59-57 lead with 39 seconds remaining and top a 17-point run.

With 20 seconds left, Woods tied the game with a lay-up. The basket sent the game into overtime with the score at 59-59.

Rice controlled the tempo for the entire five minutes of the overtime period, outscoring Herd 12-2 to earn the 71-61 win. Overall, including overtime play, Marshall was out-scored by Rice in the final 12 minutes, 29-4.

The Herd returns to the Cam Henderson Center for its final two home games of the season next week. Marshall will conclude home play with games against Southern Miss and UCF.