Nov. 24, 2007
Box Score |
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Junior Casey Baker tied her career mark in scoring as the Thundering Herd women's basketball team downed Niagara University in dominating fashion, 79-66, Saturday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center.
The win gave Marshall (2-3, 0-0 C-USA) its second-straight win while giving it a 1-0 record at home. For Niagara (2-3, 0-0 MAAC), it marked their third loss in a row after starting the season 2-0.
"I thought we played better as the game went along. I thought it was our best game so far. In the first half we gave up too many offensive rebounds," head coach Royce Chadwick said after the game. "We did a better job in the second half of keeping them off the boards, I thought the offensive rebounds kept them in the game. They made a run in the second half and I was very proud of the team as they came together and showed some leadership to put their run to an end and close the game out the right way."
For the second game in a row, four Marshall players finished in double digits. Baker repeated her 18-point effort from Morehead State against Niagara. Along with that, she notched a career-high in rebounds with seven.
Alyssa Hammond notched 14 points, her fourth double-digit scoring game in five contests this season. Meg Withrow tied her season-high of 13 points while Kizzy Hart rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11.
Marshall took its fourth halftime lead in five games, 38-28. Niagara took an early 4-3 lead just over a minute into the contest, which would later prove to be the Purple Eagles' only lead of the game.
Late in the period, a jumper by Kizzy Hart
gave Marshall its biggest lead of the game, 38-26.
Niagara did not give up in the second half, outscoring the Herd 19-9 in the first seven minutes of the period to knot the game at 47. Second-half runs by the opponents hurt Marshall in its first three games this season, however, today was a different story.
A 9-0 Marshall run, which would later turn into a 22-5 run ensued. After Niagara tied the game, Meg Withrow hit a lay-up and was fouled on the shot. Withrow hit the free throw and after four points by Chantelle Handy and two by Alyssa Hammond, the Herd found itself up 56-47.
Liz Flooks hit a three for the Purple Eagles to stop the run, but the Herd kept the hammer down, scoring 13 of the next 15 points to extend its lead to 69-52 with just over six minutes left in the game.
Niagara would cut the lead to ten with under a minute left, but the Purple Eagles would not get any closer as Marshall hit three late free throws to finish off the 79-66 win.
Unlike the first three games where Marshall could not come back after late opponent runs, the team was able to counter with a run of its own. Coach Chadwick commented on the adjustments that were made. "I think our change from a man defense to a zone defense our players executed it well and created turnovers. When we're in our zone we're already in our running lanes and a couple of steals and pressures our guards got the ball and were off and we got a lot of easy buckets from it"
Leading the Purple Eagles was Sarah Wilson, who finished with 18 points and eight boards. Jennifer McNamee was close behind with 17 points.
The Herd will continue its homestand with next week's Fifth Third MU Classic. This year will be the most competitive field in the six-year history of the tournament as Jackson State, Pittsburgh and Harvard will participate. Marshall opens up at 11 a.m. on Friday against Jackson State and will face either Pittsburgh or Harvard on Saturday at 1 p.m. For more information on the tournament, click here.