Southern Miss, with only seven on roster, beats Marshall
HUNTINGTON -- Southern Mississippi out-rebounded, out-muscled and out-ran Marshall, but the 68-61 loss in women's basketball Thursday night at the Cam Henderson Center still had the feeling of one the Thundering Herd let slip away.
"I feel like we should have won," said Suporia Dickens, who led the Herd (9-18, 3-11 Conference USA) in scoring with 19, including two 3-pointers with less than three minutes left to go.
Right behind Dickens was Shay Weaver with 17 points. Weaver went 5-of-8 from behind the arc while Dickens went 4-of-5.
After those two, the score sheet gets a little thin.
But then, Southern Miss, which dressed only seven players, was in the same boat. The Golden Eagles (13-14, 5-9) got 24 points from Jamierra Faulkner, 20 from Jerontay Clemons and 13 from Tanecka Carey. That accounted for 57 of their total.
"We just didn't have it tonight," MU coach Matt Daniel said. "(Southern Miss) has suspensions, injuries, one player that put up 24 on one leg. We just didn't have it."
The Herd had won three in a row at home, and Daniel said he didn't expect to lose another home game, especially to a Southern Miss team that had dropped six in a row coming into Thursday's contest.
"What I don't want is for this to become a hospital -- a place where teams come to get well," he said.
Southern Miss had 14 second-chance points to Marshall's one, and scored 12 on the break while the Herd didn't score a single bucket in transition. The Golden Eagles outscored Marshall 44-18 in the paint, most of which came off of drives from Faulkner or Clemons, and Marshall turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 26 points for Southern Miss.
The game was tied three times, and there were 10 lead changes. But every time Marshall built a lead, Southern Miss would go to a press or a half-court trap to force turnovers.
"They didn't trap anywhere but the corners, and we always seem to find the corners for some reason," Daniel said. "Certainly, we're not telling them to dribble to the corner so you get trapped, but that was the position we were in and that forced some turnovers and led to easy baskets and it hurt us."
Daniel said he didn't "see much fight" in the faces of his players during warm-ups, so he tried to challenge them some.
"I think we came out and did pretty well, and then we kind of faded again," he said.
Weaver hit a 3-pointer with just more than 13 minutes to go in the second half, giving Marshall the lead at 43-42. Southern Miss responded with a seven-point run and the visitors never trailed again. In that run there were two offensive fouls called against Marshall on a night were both teams only shot four free throws each.
"We had a couple of calls in the second half that didn't go our way ... that were big swing calls because (Southern Miss) went down and scored off of those," Daniel said. "We just didn't have it, and sometimes that happens."
The women's team plays its last home game of the season against Central Florida Sunday at 2 p.m. Seniors Leandra King and Veronica Ruiz will be honored at the game.