Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 24, 2013

Indiana State women nip Marshall

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

HUNTINGTON — Despite four double-digit scoring performances by Marshall players, including 10 points by freshman McKenzie Akers, the Marshall Thundering Herd (1-3, 0-0 C-USA) fell in the final seconds to the Indiana State Sycamores (3-2, 0-0 MVC) for its third consecutive loss, Sunday afternoon at Cam Henderson Center.

It was a tale of two halves, as the first 20 minutes saw 11 lead changes with four ties. Indiana State’s largest lead of the game came at the 14-minute mark in the first half, when the Sycamores led by five. Marshall eventually found an offensive spark, fueled by an 11-0 run from the 8:43 mark to 6:13, and led by as many as 18 points in the first half. The first-half buzzer sounded with Marshall on top, 39-23, putting the Herd’s 16-point margin as its largest halftime lead of the season (previously was seven versus Morehead State, Nov. 18).

Marshall’s largest lead of the game came with 8:27 remaining in the second half, when an Erica Woods layup put the Herd up, 62-42. The Sycamores immediately countered with a 16-0 run that lasted from 8:08 to 4:04, cutting the Herd’s lead to only four. That span saw one three-pointer, four field goals and five free throws from Indiana State, opposite five turnovers and three fouls by the Herd.

The Sycamores kept climbing, cutting Marshall’s lead to 67-66 with 0:36 on the clock, and a foul put Lashonda Littleton at the line with 0:01.7 remaining. She sunk both, and the Herd ran out of time to lose in heartbreaking fashion, 68-67.

Even with the loss, two Marshall players had career games, with freshman Akers shooting 3-of-4 from behind the arc and finishing with 10 points, while fellow freshman Chelsey Romero put seven points on the board. Akers, Woods, Chukwuka Ezeigbo and Leah Scott each had double-digit scoring performances, with Woods leading all eight Herd scorers with a season-high 13 points. Woods also contributed a career-high seven assists, and matched her career three-point total by going 3-of-3 from three-point land.

The Sycamores led by a slim margin on the boards, 40-36, and shot 43 free throws to the Herd’s 16. Marina Laramie had a double-double for Indiana State with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir led all scorers with 17 points.

The Herd is in the midst of a six-game home stand, next hosting a noon meeting with Southern Illinois, Wednesday, at Cam Henderson Center.