Green Wave batters Herd women
HUNTINGTON – There are some things a coach simply can’t teach, such as size and strength.
After fighting to stay close for 30 minutes, Marshall wore down against a bigger, experienced Tulane women’s basketball team in a 77-61 loss.
Tulane used a 14-0 run after the final media timeout to close out the Herd in front of 349 fans at Cam Henderson Center.
“I don’t think we responded well late,” Marshall women’s basketball coach Matt Daniel said. “I thought we played hard and competed for 30 minutes, but I didn’t like how we competed the last 10. There’s not a person up and down our roster that we don’t need more from.”
Tiffany Dale ended with 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead four double-figure scorers for the Green Wave, who out-rebounded Marshall 47-33 after the rebounding battle was even through 28 minutes.
Those second-chance points allowed the Green Wave to extend a lead midway through the second half and the 3-point shooting of Danielle Blagg closed out the contest. Blagg finished with 14 points while point guard Jamie Kaplan added 12 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
Marshall led 42-39 with 15 minutes left, but a crucial turn of events put the game in Tulane’s favor over the next three minutes of action.
Herd freshman Chelsey Romero, who had helped stabilize the rebounding down low while she was in, picked up her third and fourth fouls and Marshall point guard Norrisha Victrum went down with cramps after an attempted 3-pointer.
With Romero off the floor, Tulane was able to get on the glass a bit more. After having just four second-chance points in the first 25 minutes of action, the Green Wave got second-chance scores on consecutive possessions to push the lead to 56-47.
“I think we were fatigued mentally,” Daniel said.
Prior to the exchange, Victrum and Suporia Dickens had given Marshall its first lead since the game’s early stages as the Herd got out to a quick second half start.
Dickens and Leah Scott each finished with 19 points to lead the Herd. Dickens also had 10 rebounds. Her 19 points was a season-high. Victrum finished with 11 points.
The final score was not indicative of how tight the contest was for the majority of the contest. Tulane led by just eight with 3:50 left and Marshall had a chance to cut it to two possessions, but a turnover led to a 3-pointer by Blagg that started the 14-0 run that produced three of Tulane’s eight 3-pointers in the game.
The first half was a near deadlock as Dale got a layup with three seconds left to give the Green Wave a 37-35 lead at intermission.
The Green Wave led by as many as 15 in the first half, but Marshall used a rare 5-point play to get on track.
Marshall had gone 6:30 without a field goal before A.J. Johnson connected on a pair of 3-pointers in a 40-second stretch to end the drought. On Johnson’s second 3-pointer, Leah Scott was fouled while going in to rebound, and Scott hit both free throws to get the game back within single digits.
The play got Scott into rhythm as she followed with eight points during the 14-2 run that tied the game at 35 before Dale’s layup sent both teams to the locker room with Tulane in the lead.
Prior to Johnson’s 3-pointers, the only field goals had come from Suporia Dickens, who went on a personal 8-0 run to give the Herd its only lead of the first half at 11-10 with 12:57 left.
Victrum said the end result serves as a strong message as to how conference play is going to be for the Herd, who had three starters take part in their first Division I conference game on Thursday night.
“It’s just an eye-opener for everyone that it’s not going to get any easier,” Victrum said. “We’re going to see bodies like that on the inside, taller guards and longer guards as we stretch into conference play. We just need to prepare better mentally, prepare physically and just get ready for the next game.”
For Marshall, the loss cannot linger long as the Herd comes back for a 1 p.m. matchup with UAB Saturday afternoon.
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