Jesse Carrier again stepped up and hit the game winning shot for the second consecutive game of the Fifth Third Classic to give ULM a two-point victory, 69-67, over Marshall in the championship game Saturday afternoon inside the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va.
"This is a huge win for our team," head coach Mona Martin said. "We battled adversity throughout the second half and prevailed down the stretch."
ULM (3-1) showed it could handle pressure for the second consecutive game and ended with another exciting flurry of Carrier 3-point shots. Holding a one-point advantage with 2:58 remaining in the second half, the Warhawks were able to hold off a charging Marshall squad.
Carrier again provided the winning blow and knocked down a 3-point shot in the final seconds on her way to earning tournament Most Valuable Player. In Friday's 59-57 win over Morgan State, the Sulphur, La., native knocked down the game winner with eight seconds remaining.
Lottie Moore was also named to the all-tournament team.
Carrier finished with a career-high 19 points including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc for ULM. She also added five rebounds and a pair of assists. Moore scored three points, grabbed four rebounds and added five assists.
Marshall (3-1) was led by Tynikki Crook's game-high 20 points along with eight rebounds. Alyssa Hammond added 19 points of her own including 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
ULM traded buckets with Marshall for most of the first half before falling behind by as many as eight, 15-7, with 10:34 remaining. The Warhawks rallied back behind the play of Shannon Davis who scored a pair of layups to lead a 10-3 Warhawk rally, 20-20, with a little under six minutes in the half.
The Thundering Herd then tried a trapping defense but Carrier found the open holes and knocked down a pair of 3-point shots to cap an 8-3 Warhawk run, 28-23.
Marshall eventually chipped away at the ULM lead and tied the score, 33-33, to enter halftime.
Carrier led the Warhawks at halftime with eight points, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc. Elizabeth Torres chipped in six points off two 3-pointers.
"Jesse played big for us this weekend," Martin said. "It is a big relief knowing that we can count on her for a big shot when we need it."
The Warhawks opened the second half with an 8-3 run and made it 41-36 before four minutes had expired off the clock. A variety of jumpers and a pair of Ashley Wallis free throws paced the run.
Three minutes later Moore was called for her fourth foul and Portia Tucker entered the game. Tucker scored four quick points and helped the Warhawks increase their six-point lead from 47-41, to as many as 11-points with 10:32 on the clock.
With ULM holding a double-digit lead for nearly four minutes, the Thundering Herd would not go down easy. Marshall answered back and cut the ULM lead to as little as three, 62-59, before the excitement started.
Leading 62-59, Marshall's Tania Walter's hit a layup to cut the ULM lead to one, 62-61. Two possessions later Carrier stepped up and knocked down a crucial 3-point shot to put the Warhawks ahead, 65-61.
Marshall's Angelica Harris answered back 23 seconds later with a 3-pointer and again cut the ULM lead to one, 65-64. Harris would then make a free throw and tie the game at 65-65 before Carrier sunk the game-winning 3-point shot with 30 seconds on the clock.
ULM begins its home portion of the 2008-09 schedule against Southern Miss Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum as part of a doubleheader with the Warhawk men's team.