Miners Knock Herd Out of First Round, 70-59


Shay Weaver now holds Marshall's single season three-point record.

Shay Weaver now holds Marshall's single season three-point record.

March 13, 2013

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TULSA, Okla. - Miners' center Anete Steinberga scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half as fifth-seeded UTEP moved past No. 12 seed Marshall, 70-59, in day one of the 2013 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship Wednesday afternoon at the Tulsa Convention Center.

The Thundering Herd scored the game's opening points on a bucket by forward Suporia Dickens, but that would be the lone lead of the day for Marshall as UTEP scored the next eight points and never led by less than four at any point during the rest of the win. With the loss, Marshall wrapped up the 2012-13 season 9-21. The Miners improved to 21-9 on the year and advance to take on No. 4 seed UAB in the quarterfinals Thursday. Tipoff for that game is slated for 1:30 p.m. (CDT).

Marshall sophomore guard, Shay Weaver, broke the Herd's single season record for three-pointers on the team's final possession of the game. She totaled 69 three-pointers for the 2012-13 season, surpassing Kizzy Hart's record of 68 set in 2010.

Forward Chukwuka Ezeigbo led Marshall with 16 points and 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double of her own and led the team with a pair of steals. Dickens was next for the Herd with 15 points and six boards, guards Erica Woods and Norrisha Victrum shared team-high assists honors with three apiece and Leandra King came off the bench to post a game-high two blocked shots.

Marshall went 11-of-13 (84.6 %) from the free throw stripe. The free throw percentage was the best of the season for the Herd after previously going 11-of-14 (82.4 %) from the charity stripe against Memphis on March 7. The Herd only committed 11 turnovers against UTEP, tying a season-low. The total was seven below the season average (18.0 per game).

Steinberga, who extended her school mark of consecutive double-figure scoring outings to 21, was one of four Miners to finish with 10-plus points as guard Kelli Willingham had 16, forward Kayla Thornton scored 13 and wing Irene Gari added 11. Thornton completed a double-double with a team-best 10 rebounds and shared UTEP-high steal honors with guard Cameasha Tuner at two each. Gari led the team with four assists.

UTEP held a 46-32 rebounding advantage over Marshall, turned 18 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points and out-scored the Thundering Herd in the paint, 24-18.

Marshall hung tough early in the ballgame and bounced back from a 25-12 deficit with 11:04 to play in the first half with a 17-8 run over the next 7:24 to make it a four-point affair at 33-29. UTEP went into the locker room at the break clinging to a 39-33 lead but blew the game open with a 15-2 run over the first 6:42 of the second half to quiet any talks of a Thundering Herd comeback.

 UTEP held a 19-point edge later on at 57-38 with 10:24 left in regulation, and Marshall actually out-scored the Miners 21-13 the rest of the way. The early second-half surge, however, proved to be too much to overcome.