Jan. 22, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall women's basketball jumped to a 10-point lead early in Sunday's game against UCF, but the effort wasn't enough as the Knights displayed a strong second half to knock off the Herd 55-44.
The loss gives Marshall three defeats in a row as they dropped to 12-6 (3-2 C-USA). UCF improved to 9-9 (4-2 C-USA).
Senior guard Alaya Mitchell had a season-high 12 points along with four rebounds and a steal. Shay Weaver followed with eight points, while four different Herd players led on the boards with four rebounds apiece.
The Herd was out-rebounded for only the second time this season after UCF grabbed 37 boards compared to the Herd's 35. The Knights also accounted for more steals and committed less turnovers than Marshall.
"We got out-rebounded, which very rarely happens to us," commented head coach Royce Chadwick after the game. "We were only capable of getting to the free throw line six times tonight. We have to get to the free throw line more than that to win basketball games."
UCF took advantage of 16 points from the free throw line, while the Herd only accounted for three points at the charity stripe.
Chadwick featured new personnel in the starting lineup for the match-up against UCF as Weaver and Jasmine Shaw earned their first starts as Thundering Herd.
Shaw and Weaver would go on to earn five points in the first half, while Weaver grabbed two steals and an assist in the opening period.
Mitchell started the game with the first four points and helped Marshall jump to an 8-3 lead in the opening five minutes.
The Herd sustained a lead until the 7:20 mark when the Knights went on a 10-point run to tie the game up at 21-21. After both teams secured a basket in the closing minutes, the score was tied 23-23 at the first half buzzer.
Mitchell led the team at halftime with six points after going 3-for-5 from the field. Alyse Poindexter had two blocks and seven different players earned rebounds during the half.
Marshall came out of the locker rooms and sprung to a 31-25 lead in the second half after Mitchell scored four points in a row during the first few minutes.
UCF's Gevenia Carter responded by single-handedly adding eight points in a row to allow the Knights to take over the lead, 34-33, with 13:00 left in the game.
In the last 12 minutes of the game Marshall went 5-for-22 from the field, while Carter scored 12 to secure the UCF win 55-44.
Carter ended the second half with a total of 20 points, only one point shy of Marshall's total output for the period (21). She finished the contest with 28 points, four steals, two rebounds, and two assists.
"Her mid-range game is unparalleled," noted Chadwick on Carter. "When she gets her feet set, she is a very good shooter. We didn't do a very good job of rotating over and helping and we tried to play her way too much 1-on-1. Great players step up and make great plays and she stepped up and did that to us tonight."
Marshall's next two games will take place on the road as the Herd travel to Memphis and Tulane. Marshall opens up with Memphis on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET and continues to Tulane for a Sunday afternoon match-up at 3:00 p.m. ET.
The game will be offered through live audio at 88.1 FM-WMUL or online at www.marshall.edu/wmul. The contest will also be available through live stats, via www.herdzone.com.