Marshall jumped out to a 36-29 lead in the game behind 10 first half point from freshman Tynikki Crook, as Marshall went from two down with 4:45 to play in the first half to a 36-29 lead just two minutes later, but neither team scored in the final three minutes of the first half. Marshall shot 52 percent in the first half, making 15-of-29 shots.
In the second half, Marshall jumped out to a 10 point lead just three minutes in, at 41-31, but allowed Navy to tie the game at 47-47 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Herd finally shook off Navy with a 23-11 run down the stretch to put away its third consecutive win and move to 6-4 on the season. Navy, who is at San Diego State Tuesday, fell to 2-9.
For the third straight game, Kizzy Hart topped the Herd in scoring, netting 15 points. Crook finished with 14, a career best for the second game in a row, scoring 12 at Ohio Friday. Casey Baker, who had an off-day shooting (1-for-9), was tops on the team in other areas as she finished with ten assists and nine steals, both career highs, and added six rebounds as well. The Herd forced 28 Navy tournovers, leading to 25 points off \the Mids.
"I thought we were on again, off again. A big part of that has to do with that we've had a game on the road Friday, we're here Sunday then back on the road Tuesday," Head Coach Royce Chadwick said. "This is about reaching deep inside yourself and pulling out the things that get a ‘W ‘ and I was really happy for our team that we were able to get it done. Our bench made some huge contributions today. " Marshall was terrible at the three-point line, just making two of 14, and hit only 10 of-22 at the free throw line but still gutted out the win. Marshall has now won six of its last seven games after an 0-3 start in the Pre-season WNIT. The Herd shot 47 percent for the game, 29-of-62, despite the poor day at the three-point line. Hart was just 1-for-10 behing the arc.
Joining Hart and Crook in double-digits were Alyssa Hammond and Meagan Samis, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Meg Withrow finished the game with nine points while Chantelle Handy grabbed seven boards, tied for the game high, while Samis added six rebounds off the bench. Navy finished with two scorers in double-digits. K.C. Gordon, who would foul out of the game, led all scorers in the contest with 16 points. 6-foot-3 freshman center Cassie Consedine had 12 for the Midshipmen.
"We didn't start exceptionally fast this season but you know in college basketball it's not how you start, its how you finish," Chadwick said. "We need to keep moving in the right direction. "By the end of non-conference we will have played 10 road games and four home games, that's brutal but it will leave benefits for next year. I think this team is getting tougher with each game they play."
Sunday's game marked the seventh-annual "Jam the Cam." 927 fans were on hand for the win over Navy. Prior to the game, America's oldest living Medal of Honor winner and Huntington resident, Herschel "Woody" Williams, led a Marine Corps color guard for the national anthem while a video presentation saluting all branches of America's armed forces was shown at halftime. Williams was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award, for his outstanding heroism during the Marine Corps invasion and occupation of Iwo Jima during World War Two. Nearly 100 former and current members of the military were present at the game.
The 1996-97 team was also honored during the game. Former head coach Sarah Evans-Moore, along with several players including Academic All-American Kristina Behnfeldt-Schubert were honored. Evans-Moore's Herd Southern Conference Championship team won the SC Tournament and played in the NCAA Tournament, and Behnfeldt has her jersey No. 42 retired at Marshall. The M-Club presented Evans-Moore a blanket for her MU accomplishments.
On Friday morning, Dec. 14, Baker tied a career-high with 18 points and the Thundering Herd held off a furious Ohio University rally to hang on for a 78-74 win at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio. The loss drops Ohio U. to 4-5. T"It is always difficult to win on the road," Chadwick said. "We got a win in a difficult place to play. Its a rivalry game and we had to be ready to play."
Along with her 18 points, Baker notched career marks with six steals and two blocks. Hart also had 18 points while notching six boards and five assists, both career bests. Hammond tallied 16 points and five rebounds, all coming on the offensive glass. Baker started the game off with a lay-up that gave the Herd a lead that it would not surrender until early in the second half. Hammond scored a game-high of ten in the first half while her bucket with four minutes left in the period gave the Herd a 29-22 lead, its largest of the game. Ohio would cut the lead to three, 33-30, at the half.
Hart was 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes while a lay-up by Chantelle Handy with eight seconds left put the game out of reach for the Bobcats. Handy once again played over 30 minutes, tallying 11 points, her best showing of the season. Hart, Alix Barnette and Samis each had six rebounds to lead Herd.
Just before the finals break, Hart scored a career-high 23 points as the Marshall women's basketball team took down North Texas in dominating fashion, 82-70, at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas. Hart's total of 23 marked the most points scored by a Marshall player this season and also the first 20-point game since Withrow had 20 against East Carolina on January 28.
Baker, not to be overshadowed by Hart, also set a first for the team this season, notching the first double-double since Modupe Ishola did it against UCF last year. Baker scored 14 points to go with a career-high 11 boards. She also tied her career mark of five steals, which she set on Saturday against Pittsburgh. Rounding out Marshall's four double-digit scorers were Barnette, with 14 points for the second time in three games. She tied her career mark, connecting on three three-pointers. Crook bested her career-high of nine points with 12.
Marshall will play one more game before Christmas break, traveling to Arlington, Texas for a Tuesday match against the University of Texas at Arlington. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. and can be heard on WMUL 88.1 FM (www.marshall.edu/WMUL). The Herd will then be off until December 26, when they will gather for practice. On Dec. 28-29, Marshall will be at the Virginia Tournament, meeting the Big XII's Missouri Tigers in the first round, then either UVA or Delaware State in the second round. Marshall's next home game is a double-header with the men on January 5. The women will open Conference USA play with East Carolina at 5 p.m., while the men will play Winthrop at 2 p.m. in the final game before they also open C-USA play.