"That was a great game to watch," said Marshall coach Royce Chadwick. "Just two teams slugging it out, over and over and over again."
While the game would rest in the hands of MU guard Teyonka Hodge in the second half, the first half was a fit-inducing one for Chadwick. After establishing a 27-19 lead with 10:05 left in the first half, Marshall went on a bizarre drought for the next 6:11. When MU's Kim Griffin sank a jumpshot at the 3:56 mark, Ohio had caught up and passed the Herd, 31-30.
Marshall would cut the OU lead to just one point, but the Bobcats' Simone Redd drained a half-court buzzer-beater to give OU a 42-38 lead at the half.
"In retrospect, that three from halfcourt was big," Chadwick commented after the game.
Reshundra Smiley and Kim Griffin each scored 13 points in the first half for Marshall, opening the gate for teammate Hodge to join in during the second half.
"My job was to penetrate and get physical," said Teyonka Hodge. "So, I did."
Marshall guard Teyonka Hodge drove the lane around Ohio's Angel Hornsburger
Ohio took command for most of the second half, leading by as many as 8 points (64-56). Hodge would score 7 of her 16 second-half points in a two minute span, and the result was Marshall taking an 80-78 lead with 3:38 left in the game.
The game would be tied three final times after that. Ohio's Kristian Kirkpatrick hit two free throws with :29 left to give the Bobcats the 87-86 lead. Marshall called a timeout, and Hodge brought the ball upcourt.
"She did a way-beyond-her-years job of reading the defense and making the play," MU coach Chadwick described of the final play.
Teyonka Hodge drove the lane and hit he layup from the right side with just :10 left in the game for the game-winning basket.
"Teyonka was huge down the stretch," Chadwick added. "They [Ohio] overplayed it [the final play]."
While it was Hodge's 16 second half points that were the story, teammate Reshundra Smiley was high-scorer for the night with 19 points. Hodge and Smiley were but two of five Marshall players to score in double figures, with Kim Griffin (16), Sikeetha Shepard-Hall (11), and Crystal Champion (13) rounding out the group. Champion also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Chadwick was just happy that his MU squad battled back after enduring the scoring drought in the first half. "I'm real happy with the way they fought," said Chadwick, "but not with the technique."
Marshall is now 8-7 overall and 2-2 in the MAC with the win, while Ohio drops to 7-9 and 3-2 respectively. The Herd travels to play the University of Buffalo on January 22 in Buffalo, New York.