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Herd Finish Home Schedule with 75-51 Loss to UCF

Veronica Ruiz closes out her fifth year with the Thundering Herd

March 3, 2013

Final Stats

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Post Game Press Conference Video

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall women’s basketball closed out the 2013 home schedule with a 75-51 loss to UCF on Sunday evening. The game featured Senior Day in which Veronica Ruiz and Leandra King were honored before the contest.

The Thundering Herd dropped to 9-19 (3-12 C-USA) with the loss and enters the Conference USA tournament on March 13 as the No. 12 seed. UCF improved to 13-16 (7-8 C-USA) with the win.

Playing in the last home game of her career, King had one of her best games of the season. She earned her first double-double of the season and the second of her two-year career with Marshall. King led the Herd with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while also adding a team-high three blocks.

“I’m happy for LeLe [Leandra King] and ‘V’ [Veronica Ruiz] to get to play more than half the game on the final game,” head coach Matt Daniel commented. “One of the things I talked to them about earlier in the week is you will remember your approach and effort in your last game – you can’t help it, you just do. I think they got a good opportunity and they had pretty good days.”

Ruiz finished with four points in her last home outing and recorded 22 minutes on the court.

Orlandria Williams totaled 11 points to tie King, going 4-of-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from behind the three-point arc. She recorded half (1-of-1) of Marshall’s made free throws as the Thundering Herd was limited to 2-of-2 from the free throw line for the duration of the game.

Justine Boerger earned a career-high of six points after totaling nine minutes of play in the second half. She went 2-of-3 in three-pointers and also recorded her first career steal.

Marshall finished the game 22-of-57 (38.6 %) from the field and went 5-of-19 (26.3 %) in three-pointers. UCF out-rebounded Marshall 39-32 and was able to earn 26 points off turnovers, compared to the Herd’s nine. The Herd tallied 21 turnovers and UCF managed 16 steals, 10 of which came in the second half.

“It’s about handling adversity,” Daniel said. “It’s been a tough deal, but we are fighting like crazy to get better.”

UCF had four players record double-digit point totals, while Briahanna Jackson led the Knights with 19 points. Erika Jones recorded a double-double after posting 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Knights finished 30-of-65 (46.2 %) from the field.

UCF established a lead off the get-go and kept the Herd at bay for the first 10 minutes of play, establishing a 22-12 advantage with 9:30 left in the period. Ezeigbo sparked a nine-point run after finding the basket and Orlandria Williams brought the game to 22-21 after sinking a three-pointer with 7:15 left in the half.

The two teams traded baskets in the following six minutes, then Dickens used a three-pointer to tie the game 28-28 with 1:30 left in the half. Jones hit a jumper in the closing seconds to allow UCF a 32-30 advantage at halftime.

Marshall took its only lead of the game to open up the second half as Williams drained another three-pointer to go up 33-32. UCF responded by capping a 15-0 run with a made shot by Jackson with 10 minutes left. The jumper gave UCF a 51-38 lead.

The Knights used a heavy press defense to force a total of 12 Marshall turnovers in the second half, which helped UCF extend its lead to 62-40 with seven minutes left. The Herd could never gain footing and finished out the game with a 75-51 loss.

The Herd will play in its final regular season game at Memphis next Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Marshall has already defeated the Tigers once this season, 55-54, on Feb. 3.