March 7, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Marshall women’s basketball cut a 21-point Memphis advantage to just four in the second half, but the Thundering Herd could not complete the comeback and lost the final game of the regular season in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Thursday, 63-53.
The Thundering Herd will close the regular season with a 9-20 (3-13 C-USA) record and enter the Conference USA tournament on March 13 as the No. 12 seed. Memphis improves to 17-13 (8-8 C-USA) as they close their regular season as well.
Norrisha Victrum led Marshall with 12 points, all of which came in the second half. The freshman point guard finished the game 4-of-13 and was a flawless 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Suporia Dickens also went perfect from the free throw line (4-for-4), while Leandra King finished 4-of-5. As a team, the Herd went 14-of-17 (82.4 %) from the stripe, marking its best free throw percentage of the 2012-13 season.
King followed Victrum’s 12-point performance with 10 of her own. She went 3-for-3 from the field and added three rebounds and one block.
For only the second time this season, Marshall had two players register double-digit rebound totals as Chukwuka Ezeigbo finished with 12 (seven offensive) and Dickens recorded 11. Marshall out-rebounded Memphis, 44-34, but was only able to post eight second-chance points despite 14 offensive boards.
Turnovers plagued Marshall as the Herd totaled 18, compared to Memphis’ seven. The Tigers only had two turnovers in the first half and Marshall ended the game with just two steals. Memphis totaled 20 points off turnovers, while Marshall was limited to seven.
The Tigers were led by freshman Ariel Hearn with 17 points, while Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 16 and Asianna Fuqua-Bey had 14. Fuqua-Bey had eight rebounds to lead the team.
Memphis controlled the tempo of the game straight out of the gates, jumping to a 14-2 lead in the opening 5:30 of play. Abdul-Qaadir had eight of the Tigers first 14 points which included two three-pointers.
Memphis went 16-of-34 (47.1 %) from the field in the first 20 minutes, while Marshall was limited to eight made shots (8-of-28) in the first half. The difference led to a 40-22 Memphis advantage after the opening period.
The Herd had a 16-5 run to start the second half that was capped off by six-straight points from Memphis native, Orlandria Williams, to cut the score to 52-43 with eight minutes left in the contest.
Marshall then used the change of pace to complete an 8-0 run in the next four minutes. The Herd defense forced a Memphis shot clock violation and then used two clutch free throws from Dickens to bring the score to 57-53 with four minutes left in the game.
Memphis didn’t allow Marshall another basket after that and finished the game with 10-striaght points. The Tiger 63-63 Tiger victory split the series for the season as the Herd defeated Memphis 55-54 on Feb. 3.
Marshall will next play in the Conference USA tournament on March 13 as the No. 12 seed. The Herd will play the No. 5 seed, who is yet to be determined due to a five-way tie between UTEP, Memphis, Houston, UCF and Tulsa. Stay tuned to HerdZone.com for updates