Dec. 22, 2011
GREENVILLE, S.C. – After taking a 27-21 lead into the locker rooms at halftime, Marshall women’s basketball was unable to close out the game and lost 62-54 to the Furman Paladins on Thursday afternoon.
The defeat is the first loss since falling to Ohio on November 19. Marshall ended a six-game win streak and dropped to 7-3, while Furman improved to a 8-3 standing.
Leandra King led the Herd during the contest with 11 points and eight rebounds, while combining for a season-high four blocks. Alaya Mitchell followed with 10 points, six of which came from the charity stripe. Mitchell also led the team in assists with five.
Despite missing the Herd’s leading rebounder in Erica Woods due to illness, Marshall out-rebounded the Paladins 49-44, with 20 of the boards being offensive grabs.
“We missed Erica Wood’s leadership and her defensive rebounding,” noted head coach Royce Chadwick after the game. “We certainly missed her defense. Hopefully we will get Erica and Veronica Ruiz back after the break, that way we will have our power forwards back.”
The Herd also had more steals (7) and blocks (6) in the game, but a 18-for-65 (27.7%) performance from the field led to the Furman victory.
Even though Marshall went 8-for-31 from the field in the opening half, the Herd went on an 8-0 run late in the first period and held a 27-21 lead going into the locker rooms. Shay Weaver came in off the bench late in the closing minutes and went 2-for-3 from behind the arc.
Leandra King recorded four points and five rebounds in the first half, while Alaya Mitchell contributed five points and three assists.
In the second half, Furman jumped out of the gates and went on an early 18-3 run to take over the lead and make the score 41-30.
The Paladin take-over was led by Brittany Hodges, who totaled 14 points in the second half alone. She was followed by Furman’s Raegan Thompson who added two three-pointers and combined for 10 points.
Marshall held on and in the final minutes trimmed the Furman lead to 53-49 after Lateidra Elliott nailed a three-pointer with 4:33 left. Foul troubled hindered the late comeback as the Paladins added seven of their 15 second half free throw points in the closing minutes.
In the end, Furman out-scored the Herd 41-27 in the second half and held on to a 62-54 win.
“In the second half we had a few good spurts, but we weren’t consistent and didn’t fight through the things that were bad,” said Chadwick. “We had our opportunities tonight, but just didn’t make it happen.”
Chadwick continued, “We didn’t play very well offensively. 13-for-24 from the free throw line – we are a better basketball team than that. We had 20 offensive rebounds, yet we couldn’t get to the free throw line and couldn’t get the offensive rebound put-back. We didn’t play our team schemes and played a lot of 1-on-1 on defense. I thought that was the difference in the game. We didn’t play good enough defense to keep us in it and our offense never really showed up tonight. We have to get back to the drawing board and get our offense going.”
Marshall returns to the road for their next match against Tennesse Tech on December 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The game will be available through WMUL’s online radio show at www.marshall.edu/WMUL.