Dec. 28, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Casey Baker picked up right where she left off prior to the Christmas break, tying her career-high of 22 points as the Marshall women's basketball team used a late 25-11 run to down the Missouri Tigers, 77-72, Friday at John Paul Jones Arena in the opening round of the Marriott Cavalier Classic.
Baker also had five steals, her sixth-straight game with four or more. Joining Baker in double-digits were Kizzy Hart, who scored 14 and Tynikki Crook. Crook had 11 points and nine boards, falling just one rebound shy of her second double-double in as many games.
Missouri (6-6, 0-0 Big 12) came out strong, opening the game on a 13-2 run in the first five minutes, thanks in part to three three-pointers. Marshall (8-4, 0-0 C-USA) would stop the run on a jumper by Chantelle Handy.
The hot shooting of the Tigers would continue in the first half as they would finish the period shooting 46.7% from the field and 53.8% (7-of-13) from three-point range. Their lead would grow to as many as 12, 39-27, with just over three minutes left in the half, but the Herd would use a late run to close the deficit to five, 41-36 at the half.
Marshall held the Tigers to only one field goal in the final 3:58 of the first half and would carry that momentum into the second stanza, opening up with an 8-3 run to tie the game at 44 on a lay-up by Casey Baker. Missouri forward Amanda Hanneman countered, scoring the next 12 Tiger points to help them to a 61-52 lead with nine minutes remaining.
From that point on, it was all Marshall as the Herd would rally to 11 of the next 13 points to knot the game at 63. Casey Baker followed up a steal with a lay-up for the tie with 6:17 left. With under four minutes to go, Baker accomplished the same feat, giving the Herd its first lead of the game, 67-65.
After a Jessra Johnson lay-up tied the game at 67, the Herd reeled off five-straight points, which would eventually lead to a 10-5 run to finish the game. A three by Kizzy Hart
game Marshall a 70-67 lead and Meg Withrow
would extend the lead to five after hitting a lay-up following a steal.
With 1:29 remaining, Withrow hit a lay-up and a free throw to give the Herd a 75-69 lead, its largest of the game. Missouri would hit its 13th three-pointer of the game to cut the lead to three, but two late free throws by Hart would put the game out of reach as Marshall would hold on for its fifth-straight victory.
The Herd had a solid day in several categories against the Tigers. For the third time in as many games, it came out on top in the rebounding battle, finishing with a 38-31 advantage on the glass. The team also committed only 11 turnovers, its lowest total of the season.
Chantelle Handy and Tynikki Crook led the Herd with nine boards each.
Both teams finished strong from the free throw line. Marshall would go 14-of-16 (87.5%) from the charity stripe. This marked the first time the team shot 85% or better from the line since going 12-of-14 against Bowling Green on February 26, 2003. Missouri shot 75% from the line.
Three-point shooting kept the Tigers in the game, as they would knock down 13 from that range. That total was the most Marshall has given this season, eclipsing the 12 hit by Morehead State earlier in the season. Alyssa Hollins led the Tigers with 22 points, including a 6-of-11 performance beyond the arc. Amanda Hanneman was not far behind with 18.
The Herd will face the winner of tonight's Virginia/Delaware State game for the Marriott Cavalier Classic championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. Saturday's game can be heard live on Marshall's student station, WMUL 88.1-FM, which will also utilize a web broadcast at www.marshall.edu/wmul.