"It was a tremendous crowd," said Chadwick of the 7,017 that helped set a new MAC attendance record in women's basketball. "I'm just disappointed we couldn't get the win for them."
Chadwick's team couldn't overcome a poor shooting performance -just 32.8% for the game, 21-of-64- and the UK Wildcats shot a scorching 55.8% in handing Marshall (3-2) their second loss of the season. UK's 6-6 center Sarah Elliott scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, taking advantage of Marshall center Modupe Ishola's second half foul trouble.
Marshall's KaShawna Curry fended off UK's Keiko Tate in the first half.
"I felt we could go inside the paint, and they [Marshall] didn't really have an answer for that," said UK coach Mickie DeMoss. "We were able to get into the gaps and get some looks."
Marshall took an early 3-2 lead, but Kentucky quickly went on a 10-1 run to go up 12-8 on Jennifer Humphrey's layup with 14:55 left in the half. UK lead by as many as 15 (21-6) before Marshall mounted a pressing run midway through the first half. Modupe Ishola four points in The Herd's 12-2 run that cut the Wildcats' lead to just five, 23-18, with 6:32 left.
"When we knock down shots early, it inspires confidence in the team," added UK coach DeMoss.
UK's Angela Phillips hit two threes late in the first half to ease the Wildcat lead back to 12 points, 35-23, at halftime.
Marshall set a MAC attendance record with 7,017 paid attendance for the game against Kentucky.
"They just shot the ball exceptionally well," said MU coach Royce Chadwick. "We made a couple of transition errors, and they got easy baskets."
UK continued their hot-shooting ways in the second half, especially center Sarah Elliott. With Marshall center Modupe Ishola on the bench with four fouls, Elliott ran free in the paint in the second half, scoring 16 of her 20 points. The Wildcats ran their lead up to 20 points, at 47-27 with 15:30 still left in the game. Between the 9:05 and 4:46 marks, Elliot scored all 9 of UK's points, either on free throws or on easy baskets in the paint.
"When she [Ishola] got in foul trouble, we were really outmanned," continued Chadwick. "They're big. We're not a very big team."
Sarah Potts' layup broke Elliott's scoring binge, and also put UK out by their largest lead of 24 points, 71-47. Marshall scored the final 8 points of the game, capped by Reshundra Smiley's three-pointer with :58 left.
"We didn't shoot it well, and that's been our M.O. so far," Chadwick summed up. "We shot worse from the free throw line than they [UK] did from the floor. That tells you all you need to know. We're getting shots. It'd just be nice to see some of them go in."
Marshall now goes on the road for the last two out-of-conference tournaments of the season. First up is the Christmas Classic hosted by MAC school Central Florida, where The Herd will take on Florida International next Saturday, and play Colgate on Sunday.
After enjoying the holidays, Marshall travels to College Park, Maryland to play in the Terrapin Classic. On December 29, Marshall faces Elon, and will play the winner of the Maryland/UMass game on December 30.