Nov. 25, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Limiting Southern to just 10 points in the final 17 minutes of play, the Herd overcame the Jaguars, 57-47, on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the A&M Classic.
The Thundering Herd improved to 3-2 on the season and finished the weekend 1-1 in Reed Arena after losing to Marquette on Friday. Southern dropped to 0-5 for the season.
Orlandria Williams was named to the All-Classic team after finishing the weekend with 15 points, putting up seven against Southern. She was 7-of-8 from the free throw line against the Jaguars and finished with two assists and a steal.
Veronica Ruiz led the Herd with 12 points, going 4-for-8 from the field and adding two three-pointers. The senior forward earned her first double-double of the season after finishing with 10 rebounds.
"She played composed, chased down balls, and played with good energy," said Daniel of Ruiz. "If she will play with good energy, she's got talent. There is talent in that dressing room, but the mentality has to continue to change and grow. I was happy to have that effort out of her because it only benefited us."
Suporia Dickens followed with 10 points, all of which came in the first half. She earned six rebounds, three of which came off the offensive glass, and a career-high three assists. Dickens was effective from the free throw line, going 4-for-4.
Marshall out-rebounded Southern, 39-31, while grabbing 12 offensive rebounds. The Herd is undefeated this season (3-0) when it earns more rebounds than its opponent.
"We were up 21-11 on rebounds at the half and we continued to out-rebound them when we got in good, solid defensive position - and that's how you hold them," commented Daniel.
Turning things around from Friday's loss, the Herd went 18-of-23 from the free throw line for a 78.3 percent average. The Herd restricted its fouls and limited the Jaguar's visits to the line, forcing them to just three attempted free throws.
Marshall went down early to the Jaguars 12-6, but the 10-point effort from Dickens in the first half helped Marshall pull back within one possession, 26-24, before the halftime buzzer.
The Herd benefited from an 87.5 percent average from the free throw line in the first half, going 7-for-8 from the stripe. Marshall used 21 rebounds in the opening period to total 10 second chance points and limited Southern to just 11 boards.
Southern went on an 11-0 run to open up the second half, extending its lead to 33-24. Marshall responded with a six-point run, sparked by four points from Leandra King.
King recorded eight points in the second half, along with six rebounds.
Williams brought the game within one off a free throw, trimming the Southern lead to 39-38 with seven minutes left in the game. Weaver then nailed a three-pointer to allow Marshall to take its first lead of the contest, 41-39.
Using a stonewall defense and a Ruiz three-pointer to top off a 22-2 run, the Herd pushed the lead to 46-39 with just under six minutes left the game.
The Herd defense only allowed a total of 10 points in the final 17 minutes of the game, outscoring the Jaguars, 33-21, during the second half.
"We went into halftime and I told them, `they scored 26 points, but you can hold them to 20 in the second half,'" said head coach Matt Daniel. "And we held them to 21. It's all in the approach. Our approach right now is not very good, but we can flip that. If we can do that then we can have a good program."
Two free throws from Williams secured a 57-47 victory over the Jaguars, concluding the A&M Classic.
Marshall will travel to Eastern Kentucky for the EKU Comfort Suites Tournament next weekend. The Herd will take on Jackson State in the first game on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET.