Herd Women’s Basketball Late Rally Comes Just Short at Florida
Marshall fought back from 20-point deficit and loses by five, 74-69
Box Score (PDF)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Marshall women’s basketball team put up a great comeback rally in the fourth quarter, but came just short in a 74-69 loss to the Florida Gators Sunday afternoon.
Marshall is now 3-6 while Florida improved to 6-4.
“We talked about needing to stay consistent and steady as a basketball team and I think we really showed that today,” Herd head coach Tony Kemper said. “I think everyone stepped up and we really put pressure on them in the fourth that made them tighten up a bit and we took advantage.
“I’m proud of the way they fought today.”
Senior Talequia Hamilton led the Herd in scoring with a season-high 21 points. Sophomore Asheika Alexander chipped in 11. Junior Shayna Gore scored nine and redshirt sophomore Tana Driver came away with a career-best eight points. Driver dished out two more assists and grabbed four boards.
Marshall trailed by as many as 20 points late in the third quarter before putting on furious comeback and bringing the score as close as one late in the fourth.
The Thundering Herd stayed on target with the hot-shooting Gators in the first quarter. The Herd led for 5:48 of the quarter before the Gators hit two three-pointers in a 20 second span to take a 16-12 lead. Freshman guard Kristen Mayo drained a long three right at the buzzer to bring the deficit to one, 16-15.
Florida began to take control in the second, beginning the quarter with an 8-0 run. Two quick three-pointers from Funda Nakkasoglu helped to give the Gators a nine-point lead. Hamilton scored five-straight points and Gore added a tough layup to bring the deficit back to two, 24-22. Florida used its hot hand from three-point range to extend the lead back to nine by the end of the half, 38-29.
The Gators went on a 17-5 run through the first half of the third quarter to build the lead to 20. Marshall closed out the quarter outscoring Florida 10-6 to bring the deficit back to 16 as the Herd entered the final quarter trailing 60-44.
Marshall stormed out of the final break with a 7-0 run and held Florida without a point in the fourth until a converted free throw at the 6:11 mark. The Herd outscored Florida 11-2 before the Gators converted its first made field goal on a layup by Haley Lorenzen with 3:23 remaining. A three by Nakkasoglu put the lead for Florida back to 10 with 2:48 left in the game.
The Herd then put together a 10-1 run as a layup by Gore brought Marshall within one, 68-67. Florida took advantage of its free throw opportunities to stay out in front. The Herd had a chance to tie the game with four seconds to go as Gore worked off a screen by Hamilton. The shot fell just a little to the left and Florida grabbed the rebound. Marshall outscored Florida 25-14 in the fourth. The Herd shot 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from the floor and hit 4-of-6 from three in the quarter while the Gators shot 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from the floor and just 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
Florida hit 13 three-pointers in the game and Marshall drained 10 for the first time this season since the opener against Longwood.
“I told them that we have really grown as a basketball team over the last few games,” coach Kemper said. “Now we just need to keep it rolling and keep improving.”
Marshall returns to the court for two-straight home games on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. against Appalachian State. The Herd then welcomes Kentucky Christian to the Cam Henderson Center on Monday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.