"If we're flat on defense, we're basically going to be flat in the game," Shepard-Hall added. And Marshall was just that -flat on defense- in the first half. Four quick Marshall turnovers enabled Bowling Green to shoot out to a quick 11-4 lead, but MU fired up four three-pointers to get as close as one, 18-17, with 6:58 remaining in the first half.
Bowling Green shot back out to a 37-25 lead at the half, behind the hot shooting of Lindsay Austin.
The second half had all the makings of a blowout, as BG's Stefanie Wenzel racked up 15 of her 21 points in the game, extending the Falcon lead to 22 points, at 60-38 with 10:55 remaining. Marshall responded the only way they know how: defensive pressure.
"We dug ourselves such a deep hole, the last 10 [minutes] we fought furiously to get out of it," said Marshall coach Royce Chadwick.
Nadia Swanigan and Mary Pat Statler applied defensive pressure to Bowling Green's Lindsay Austin on Wednesday evening. Marshall rallied from a 22-point deficit, but came up short.
Over the next 7 minutes, Marshall went on a 25-7 run that saw The Herd force six BG turnovers and convert them into baskets. The furious comeback ended with 3:34 remaining and Marshall within four points, at 67-63.
"It was us just being aggressive, being the team we started out to be," Shepard-Hall added of the comeback effort. "We were aggressive, more aggressive than them."
Bowling Green held off the Marshall comeback bid at the free throw line, making 9 of their last 12 from the line. Wenzel added a critical three-pointer during that time, as well.
"It's real frustrating, but it teaches us a lot," Shepard-Hall continued. "Coach explained to us in the locker room that this isn't the one that will hurt us; as long as we learn from it and don't make the same mistakes next month...then this was a good experience."
Shepard-Hall led all Marshall scorers with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Mary Pat Statler added 17 points, and Catie Knable added 12 points, 9 rebounds. The Herd shot 36.2% for the game (25-of-69), and only hit 20.8% of their threes (5-of-24).
"Our kids showed a lot of character, a lot of class in trying to come back," Chadwick added.
Bowling Green (16-9 overall, 9-5 MAC) placed four players in double figures: Wenzel with 21, Ali Mann with 20 points, and Lindsay Austin and Kelly Kapferer each had 10 points. BG shot 44.6% from the field (25-of-56), and hit a solid 47.6% from three point range (10-of-21).
Marshall now has a 14-11 overall record, 6-8 in MAC play. Next up for The Herd is a Saturday home match against the Ohio Bobcats.