Jan. 13, 2013
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After leading in the first half against the preseason Conference USA favorites, Tulane, Marshall struggled to stop the Green Wave's Danielle Blagg, who had seven three-pointers in the closing 20 minutes, and fell to Tulane, 67-57.
The Thundering Herd dropped to a 6-9 (0-2 C-USA) record with the loss, while the Green Wave improved to 12-3 (1-1 C-USA).
"I thought we played our hearts out against a team that was picked to win the league and we were picked last," commented head coach Matt Daniel. "I think given those circumstances, we played really hard for 38 minutes. But I feel like they came out and hit us in the mouth in the second half."
Marshall was led by Shay Weaver, who was one-point shy of her career-high point total with 18. All of her shots came from behind the arch as the sophomore guard went 5-of-9 in three-pointers and added three free throws.
Freshman guard Norrisha Victrum set a new season-record with 16 points after going 6-for-12 from the field and making three three-pointers.
Chukwuka Ezeigbo earned a new career-high on the boards, bringing down 13 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass. She also added seven points, a block and a steal.
Marshall was able to out-rebound the second ranked rebounding team in the league as Tulane averaged a plus-7.8 rebounding margin for the season. The Herd totaled 34 boards, compared to Tulane's 28.
Marshall also earned more free throws than the Green Wave, but it was Tulane's three-point presence that tipped the battle.
Leading the three-point shootout was Danielle Blagg, who finished the game with eight made three-pointers, only one shy of the Conference USA record for made three-pointers in a game. She finished with 26 points, 23 of which came in the second half.
"We had several breakdowns defensively," said Daniel in response to Blagg's effort. "We knew about her. You saw the scouting report. We are working hard and doing the best we can, but we're a little outmanned. When we have breakdowns, we get beat. But I'm really pleased with our kids' effort. I thought they kept battling. It's just unfortunate that we were on that end of it."
Tulane had an 8-2 run in the opening 10 minutes, helping the Green Wave establish a 14-8 lead to start the game.
Both teams went back and forth in three-pointers for the remainder of the half, but a three-pointer from Weaver and Victrum allowed Marshall to trim the Tulane lead to 22-20 with four minutes left in the period. Weaver currently leads the conference in three-pointers made per game.
Marshall took its first lead since the opening seconds of the game after Leandra King made a layup with 15 seconds left and the Herd held a 26-25 lead at halftime.
A three-pointer by Tulane's Olivia Grayson in the first few minutes of the second half sparked a seven-point run by the Green Wave to help Tulane regain the lead at 34-28 with 16:30 left in the game.
At that point, Blagg took over and was lights out from behind the three-point line. She made four-straight three-pointers to give the Green Wave a 45-35 lead with 11 minutes in the game.
Weaver responded with her own net from behind the arch to put the score at 50-40 with seven minutes left in the game. There were a combined total of 25 attempted three-pointers from both teams in the second half.
Blagg continued to add three-pointers, making three consecutive with just under six minutes left in the game. Marshall went on a six-point run with just over two minutes left in the game to trim the score to 63-53, but the damage from Blagg helped Tulane secure the 67-57 win.
Marshall will hit the road for its next game against Tulsa. The Herd takes on the Golden Hurricane at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 17.