Women's Basketball Rolls Past Longwood|
Dec. 15, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. – Marshall women’s basketball defeated Longwood University 62-47 on Thursday afternoon to extend their win streak to six games in a row. Three players including Lateidra Elliott, Erica Woods and Chukwuka Ezeigbo marked double-digit point totals to help push the Herd to the victory.
Marshall improved to 7-2, giving the Herd the best start to a season since 2003-04, when the team jumped to an 8-1 start. Longwood dropped to 2-7 with the defeat.
The game brought in 3,413 fans, which is the biggest crowd since February 15, 2009 when the contest against Southern Miss brought in an attendance of 3,526. A large majority of the fans in attendance were local elementary school students who took part of their day to support the Herd.
Marshall was led in points by Elliott, who has emerged as one of the Herd’s most efficient offensive threats after combining for 12 points in the win over Cincinnati. 11 of her 14 points were posted in the second half after going 3-for-4 from the field and contributing two 3-pointers. Elliott’s 14 point performance was followed by both Woods and Ezeigbo who posted 13 points each.
Ezeigbo’s 13 point effort was the freshman forwards best offensive output of the season. Head coach Royce Chadwick added after the game, “Tonight I thought Chika (Ezeigbo) did a really good job of stepping up for us and making some things happen. We have a very good team if we stay together and play together and continue to improve. We are very glad to get the win and have a great crowd for a noon game.”
For the fifth match-up in a row, the Marshall defense kept their opponent to under 50 points. Eight different players accounted for steals and as a whole the Herd totaled 12 steals. 21 of Marshall’s points came off of Longwood turnovers after the defense forced the Lancers to turn the ball over 21 times.
The Herd opened up the contest with an 11-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play. At the 9:14 mark, Longwood’s Mieke Elkington buried a three to tie the game for the one and only time of the night at 13-13.
Marshall responded by going on a 10-2 run in the closing minutes, but the Lancers hung in the game and with 5 seconds left in the first half trimmed the Herd lead to 23-22.
In the final seconds, Elliott pushed down the court to set up a Shynisha Johnson three-pointer from the corner at the buzzer to make the score 26-22 going into the locker rooms.
Being the Conference USA leader in free throw percentage, Marshall entered halftime with their lowest free throw average of a half with a 25.0 percentage after going 2-for-8. Marshall’s effort on the glass proved to be a factor in the lead going into halftime after the Herd out-rebounded Longwood 24-13 in the opening period.
Victoria Wells started the second half with a three-point play to push for a 29-24 lead. The freshman guard would go on to finish the game 4-of-6 from the field and add two steals to her team-leading total of 23.
Nearing 15:55 on the clock Ezeigbo accounted for two layups in a row to make the score 35-26. Marshall held on to the momentum for the entirety of the second half and maintained a lead the remaining time. The Herd took their biggest lead at the 1:40 mark, going up 61-47 after Woods added a layup on a fast break.
A final made free throw from Elliott closed out the game 62-48. Chadwick noted after the game, “This team has really proven to be resilient. When we make an error, when we miss an easy shot, or when we miss a free throw, we try to get it back on defense and that is something you can’t teach and you just have to have – this team has that.”
Marshall will be on the road for the next four games. The Herd travel to Greenville, South Carolina to take on the Furman Paladins on Dec. 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Marshall follows that game with contests against Tennessee Tech and Ball State. The Herd will round up the four away games with the opening Conference USA match-up in Houston, Texas against the Cougars.