Nov. 21, 2008
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Junior Angelica "Stick" Harris went 7-of-8 from the field to lead Marshall women's basketball to a 78-56 win over Tennessee State in the second game of the Fifth Third MU Classic Friday evening.
Harris led the Thundering Herd (3-0) with 18 points, including nine via the three-point shot. Her effort led a hot shooting Marshall squad that scorched the nets, shooting .659 for the game, including .700 beyond-the-arc.
Tynikki Crook recorded her sixth-straight double-digit effort dating back to last season, scoring 14 points. Casey Baker scored 13 while tallying six assists and five boards.
"We are very excited to get the win. We played by far our best half of basketball tonight. I thought our first half was much better than any game so far," Marshall coach Royce Chadwick said.
"This was the third game of the season and we are starting to do some things that we had hoped we would do at the beginning of the year. I think a lot of it has to do with people being comfortable in their positions."
The contest remained close early on. Meredith Stafford of Tennessee State (1-2) hit a three to open the game. Harris struck right back with a jumper to make it 3-2 in the opening minute. With the scored knotted at 7-7 four minutes in, the Herd took off on a 17-2 run that would prove to be the difference.
Baker got it started with her first trey of the season. After three points from Harris, TSU hit two free throws to make it a 13-9 game. Baker's second three of the game got the Herd started on an 11-0 run. On the ensuing trip down the floor, Baker found Harris for MU's fourth three-pointer of the game, doubling its total for the season.
After a missed shot by TSU, Baker found Andrea Ibezim for her first two points of the game. A minute later, Baker capped off the run with yet another three giving Marshall a 24-9 advantage. Tiffany Jackson stopped the bleeding for the Tigers, connecting on their first field goal in almost six minutes before Baker found Crook for her first points of the contest to make it a 15-point lead once again.
Marshall extended its lead to a game-high 25 points thanks to a 15-3 stretch. Crook scored five over the stretch, which also featured another three by Harris and the first of freshman Tania Walters' career.
Tennessee State cut into the lead over the final four minutes, making it a 45-28 game at the half. The Herd finished the half 15-of-21 (.714) from the field and 7-of-9 from three-point range. The Herd also got it done on the defensive end, holding TSU to a .286 shooting percentage in the opening half.
Early in the second half, Marshall quickly extended its lead back to 20 thanks to a Crook lay-up a minute in. TSU cut the lead to 17 with 13:16 remaining on a three by Charisse Hicks, but from that point on, it was all Marshall. A bucket by Crook with 7:50 remaining put MU up by 21 points. The lead would never get below 20 the rest of the way as the Herd would cruise to the 78-56 victory. The largest lead for MU came with four minutes remaining as two free throws from Alaya Mitchell game MU a 75-48 advantage.
Marshall shot .659 for the game, the first time the team shot over 60% since shooting .614 against Wright State on December 13, 2005. Another distinct advantage for MU came in its production in the paint. Already outscoring its opponents by 46 in its first two games, the team was +20 on TSU (32-12).
For the third time in as many contests, the Herd had the advantage on the boards, 32-31. On stat that stood out for TSU was its dominance on the offensive glass, grabbing 17 while holding the Herd to just three for the game.
Chantelle Handy had a stellar all around game, grabbing a game high six rebounds and scoring eight. Alix Barnette also had eight points while dishing out five helpers.
Kendra Appling led all scorers with 21 points. She was the only Tiger in double digits.
Marshall returns to action Saturday, facing the University of Louisiana at Monroe at 5 p.m. in the final game of the Fifth Third Classic. In Saturday's opener, Morgan State and Tennessee State will square off at 2 p.m. Both games can be heard on WMUL 88.1 and on the internet at www.marshall.edu/wmul.
Coach Chadwick commented on the tournament and the help from Fifth Third Bank. "I would like to thank Fifth Third Bank because without them we would be somewhere on the road today. With their generosity and community involvement, it allows us to have an opportunity to play these games at home. We are very appreciative and the bank does a very good job putting on a first class tournament."