MU women lose to Houston, 71-63
HUNTINGTON -- The Marshall women's basketball team saw a familiar script play out Sunday in its Conference USA game against Houston at Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd once led by 10 points in the first half and took a 33-30 lead to the locker room at the break. The good half.
In the second, though, the Cougars rallied. A layup by Marche' Amerson with 3:03 left broke a 58-58 tie and put Houston ahead to stay. Te'onna Campbell followed with a steal which led to a 3-point play for Porsche Landry to give Houston a 63-58 lead. The visitors would Marshall 13-5 down the stretch and leave with a 71-63 victory.
The bad half.
"There's a lot of sad faces in the dressing room right now," first-year Marshall coach Matt Daniel said. "It's the same old song and dance."
Houston (8-8, 2-1 C-USA) picked up its first road win of the season.
The Herd (6-11, 0-4 C-USA) lost its sixth in a row.
Daniel pointed out Marshall, picked to finish last in the league, has played four conference games. In eight quarters, the Herd's come out on top in four. Marshall led by 10 at the half at Southern Miss, but lost 46-44. Marshall was up 30-29 after a half against Tulane, but the Green Wave prevailed, 67-57. The Herd trailed by 19 (38-19) at the half at Tulsa, but did outscore the Hurricane in the second half, 30-29. Then there was Sunday.
"Eight halves, we've won four," Daniel said. "We're trying to keep our heads up, approach things in a positive light."
Late in the game, a pass got deflected and Daniels caught it at the Herd bench. He proceeded to bounce the ball hard several times before handing it back to the official. Frustration?
"I get frustrated on every play," Daniel said. "I want to value things. The official warned me of my demeanor. I asked, 'what did I do, what did I say?' I take this seriously."
The two baskets Houston scored to go ahead for good came after Herd turnovers. Marshall had 24 turnovers and the Cougars came up with 15 steals.
"We got killed on the boards in the second half," Daniel said. "When things are not working your way, sometimes that wears on you. We have to keep the effort up."
Warner led Houston with a game-high 24 points. She's the team's top scorer and came into the game No. 3 in the league in active 1,000-point scorers. Marissa Ashton backed Warner with 17 points and Te'onna Campebell chipped in with 14.
Erica Woods and Norrisha Victrum topped Marshall with 14 points each and Orlandria Williams added 11. Suporia Dickens entered the Herd record books after collecting a career-best 17 rebounds. That ranks her No. 18 all-time in rebounds in a game.
Houston finished with 22 field goals and made 23 of 38 free throws. That stat puzzled Daniel, who his team make 11 of 15.
"It was a weird game," Daniel said. "In free throws -- we shot 15 and they shot 38. That is a lot of free throws. We played a lot of zone, because we got in foul trouble early. They scored 23 points from the free-throw line. They made more free throws than they did field goals. Something's distorted."
Due to C-USA policy, Daniel said he could not comment on the officiating.
Marshall is off until next Sunday when UAB visits. Game time is 2 p.m.