Casey Baker, named on Tuesday to the Conference USA All-Defensive Team, paced the Herd win over Tulane in round one of the C-USA Women's Tournament in Orlando, Florida. Baker had a monster game with a team-best 18 points, along with eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals, offsetting a game in which she had 12 of the Thundering Herd's 23 turnovers. Baker hit 7-of-10 from the field, 2-of-2 from the three-point line and 2-of-2 at the free throw line for the 16-15 Herd. Marshall entered play today as the No. 6 seed.
Freshman center Tynikki Crook also stepped up in the first-round win, hitting a double-double with 10 points (5-of-6 shooting) and 14 rebounds. Crook also had three blocks in the game. Senior Kizzy Hart scored 12 points for the Herd to go along with two steals, two assists and two rebounds.
Also contributing to the Herd's win was sophomore forward Chantelle Handy, with five points and seven rebounds; senior forward Meagan Samis, with 10 points and five rebounds; and sophomore Alix Barnett with eight points. Marshall dominated the glass with a 43-30 rebounding edge to offset those turnovers.
Marshall shot the ball well, hitting 24-of-55 from the field, 44 percent. The Herd's defense was stellar, holding Tulane to just 32 percent, 19-of-59. Marshall hit 50 percent from three, knocking down six of 12 from outside the arc, scored 16 off 15 Green Wave turnovers and scored 10 second-chance points. Tulane was led by freshman Ashley Langford, who scored 20 points and had five assists.
Marshall will face the No. 3-seed, UAB, at 2:30 on Friday in the New UCF Arena, on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The Blazers won both games against Marshall in the regular season, holding MU to a five-year worst home scoring game of just 48 points (60-48) in the Henderson Center.
Earlier in the day, No. 10 Tulsa upset No. 7 Memphis, 85-63, and the Golden Hurricane will face No. 2 SMU on Friday. No. 5 Southern Miss and No. 12 UCF tipped at 5:30 p.m., and the winner will play No. 4 Houston at 5:30 p.m. Friday. East Carolina, the No. 8 seed, will face No. 9 Rice Thursday at 8 p.m., and the winner will also tip Friday at 8 p.m. against the No. 1 seed, and nationally ranked, UTEP.
Marshall's game on Friday can be heard on the Marshall student station, WMUL 88.1-FM (www.marshall.edu/wmul) and also on CBS College Sports Television (formerly CSTV) All-Access or with GameTracker, both at the MU athletic site, HerdZone.com. Saturday's semi-finals will be televised on CBS College Sports Television and the final on Sunday is on ESPN2.