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Women's Basketball Returns Home To Face East Carolina

Jan. 16, 2009

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University women's basketball team will play its first home game in nearly a month, playing host to East Carolina on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall returns home after playing its last six games away from the Henderson Center, three of which were played on a neutral floor.

Two weeks ago, the Thundering Herd took on the Pirates in the Conference USA opener. ECU grabbed a dominant 70-47 win after leading by as many as 38 points in the second half.

With the win, ECU evened the overall series at five games apiece. Since the road teams grabbed the first two games of the series in 1980 and '84, the home teams are a perfect 8-0, including a 7-0 mark since both teams have been in C-USA.

Since 2005, the home team has won by an average of 12.4 points per game. ECU has won by an average of 12 PPG while Marshall has defended the Henderson Center by 13.

Despite the loss on January 3, Marshall kept things together, reeling off wins at SMU and Tulsa to improve to 2-1 in conference play. A loss to WVU on Wednesday ended the streak, dropping MU to 9-7.

Wednesday's contest against the Mountaineers was a hard fought game that was decided by just one possession. With the game tied, 63-63, with under two minutes left, West Virginia came away with seven points in just one possession. After being fouled on a made shot, WVU grabbed an offensive rebound following a missed free throw.

Another missed free throw, offensive board, made shot and foul gave WVU a four-point lead and another free throw attempt. Yet another missed free throw did not hurt the Mountaineers as an offensive rebound turned into an Ashley Poweel three to make it a 70-63 game, which proved to be too much for the Herd to overcome.

Tynikki Crook led the Herd with a career high 24 points as she connect on nine field goals, another career mark. She also finished with 10 rebounds en route to her seventh career double-double. Crook's 24 points marked the most for a Marshall player since Casey Baker scored 28 in March's regular season finale at Houston.

Chantelle Handy scored 12 points, marking her tenth double-digit scoring game of the season. In her first two seasons, Handy hit double-digits nine times.

Marshall will look to keep the home streak alive against the Pirates, who enter the tilt with a 10-6 mark. Losses to Tulsa and SMU last weekend dropped ECU's conference record to 1-2.

In their last action, ECU came out on the losing end of an 80-73 decision at SMU. Jasmine Young, who leads C-USA in assists with 5.69 per game, dished out five in a game that saw her notch 16 points.

LaCoya Terry, the Pirates' top scoring threat and No. 2 in C-USA, scored 12 against the Mustangs, bringing her average for the season to 16.8 PPG. Terry recorded 17 in the earlier meeting against the Herd.

Tip is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. WMUL 88.1 FM will carry the game live and will stream it from their site, Live video will also be available on HerdZone All Access.