Dec. 18, 2007
ARLINGTON, Texas - Kizzy Hart scored a career-high 24 points, including 16 in overtime, to lead the Thundering Herd women's basketball team to a 97-91 triple overtime win over the University of Texas at Arlington on Tuesday.
It marked Marshall's (7-4, 0-0 C-USA) fourth-straight win and seventh in its previous eight games. The loss dropped UTA to a 3-4 mark.
The Mavericks came out shooting in the first half, going 51.6% from the field while holding the Herd to 11-39 (28.2%). Marshall would hold leads of 8-4 and 23-18 halfway through the stanza, however, Texas Arlington finished the half on a 20-6 run to take a 38-29 halftime lead. Maryann Abanobi scored 16 in the period to lead the Mavericks while Marshall's 26 boards and 9-of-10 free throw shooting kept the game within reach.
After UTA hit a three to start the second half and extend its lead to 41-29, Marshall made a run that would change the complexion of the match. A jumper by Meagan Samis started a 13-0 run that would see Marshall gain a 42-41 lead five minutes into the period.
Meagan Nelson hit a bucket for the Mavericks that would give them a 43-42 lead and end a five-minute scoring drought. From that point on, it was a back-and-forth battle. Marshall would later hold a 60-55 lead with six minutes left, but a 12-4 UTA run would give them a 67-64 lead with two minutes left. Kizzy Hart knocked down a three to knot the game at 67 and each team would hit a free throw in the final minute to send the game to overtime.
Hart dominated the first overtime, scoring five of MU's seven points, but everything did not come easy. Down one with time running out, Hart was fouled on a three-point attempt. After falling short in her first two attempts, she would knock down the third to send the game to a second extra period.
Scoring was once again at a premium in the second OT with both teams notching eight. Marshall held an 83-81 lead with a minute left, however a lay-up by Tamara Simmons would once again tie the game. On the ensuing possession, Simmons would come up with a steal to give UTA a chance for the win, but Candice Champion missed a lay-up as time ran out.
In the third overtime, Marshall took control, jumping out to an 89-85 lead. UTA would cut the lead to two, but it was all Herd from there. Hart knocked down a jumper with a minute and a half left and on the next possession, the Mavericks would turn it over and Hart would find a wide-open Chantelle Handy
for a lay-up to give MU a six-point lead. Hart and Samis would hit two free throws in the final 32 seconds to seal the deal and give Marshall a 97-91 win.
Hart led all Marshall players with 24 points, 16 in overtime. She topped her previous career mark of 23 points, set just two weeks ago against North Texas. Reigning Conference USA Player of the Week Casey Baker also set a career-high, scoring 22 points. Her play in the second half was pivotal as she notched 16 of her points in the second period. Hart and Baker were the first tandem to each score 20 since December 21 of last year when Alyssa Hammond and Modupe Ishola did the same against Niagara.
Freshman Tynikki Crook continued to emerge, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 boards for the first double-double of her young career. Alyssa Hammond rounded out the double digit scorers, tallying 14 while Meagan Samis tied Crook with 11 boards.
Abanobi led UTA with 26 points, the most scored by an individual against MU this year. Tiffeny Riles also had a stellar game for the Mavericks, scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.
Marshall will have a ten-day layoff for Christmas break before traveling to the University of Virginia Tournament. Missouri will be the first opponent on December 28th while Delaware State or Virginia will be the opponent on the 29th.