Herd Women Open With Win At Appalachian State

BOONE, N.C. - Down five with 2:32 left in the game, the Thundering Herd women's basketball team, helped by five late points from Alix Barnette, came back to defeat Appalachian State, 67-65, Friday evening at the Holmes Center. With the deficit at five points, Barnette hit a three with 2:08 remaining to cut the lead to two and with 1:11 left, Chantelle Handy connected on a lay-up to tie the game.

With the game still tied and 30 seconds remaining, Tynikki Crook hit one of two free throws to give Marshall (1-0) its first lead since the 8:25 mark of the first half. After ASU (0-1) missed a shot with under ten seconds remaining, Barnette drained two free throws to extend the lead to three with five seconds left. Things did not end there, however, as Barnette fouled Frances Hernandez on a three-point attempt with 0.4 seconds left on the clock. Having to make three to tie the game, Hernandez missed the first one. After making the second, she purposely missed the third, but ASU was unable to get a shot away.

"It nice to get a road win, but we played badly for the first 35 minutes before playing well in the last five," Marshall head coach Royce Chadwick said. "We have a lot to work on and a lot of improvement needed, but whether you win by 75 or by one, its still a win."

Tynikki Crook has 16 points and six rebounds in the win over Appalachian State, 13 of those points coming in the second half of a 67-65 win in Boone, N.C.. file photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

Appalachian State took control of the game in the first half, embarking on a 9-0 run, with the Herd lead 14-9, to grab its first lead of the game. The Mountaineers continued their hot finish to the opening half, grabbing a lead of as many as eight points, 31-23, before a late Marshall field goal cut the halftime lead to 31-25. ASU's halftime advantage came on the strength of a .444 shooting percentage while holding the Herd to a .321 percentage in the opening half.

To open the second half, Crook scored 12 points in the first 6:17. Her shot, followed by a made free throw made it a one-point game, 40-39, with 14:11 left in the half. Back came ASU, as Frances Herndandez pushed the ASU lead back to eight, 53-45, matching its largest of the game, after connecting on threes on two consecutive trips down the floor. The Herd responded with a run to cut the lead to one, 58-57. Appy State pushed the lead to five again before Barnette connected on her second three of the game.

After an ASU turnover, aker found Handy cutting in for a lay-up to tie the game with 1:11 remaining. Late free throws by Barnette and Crook gave the Herd a three-point lead, 67-64, with five seconds remaining. After Barnette's foul gave ASU the chance to tie, but Frances Hernandez missed the chance to tie the game, missing the first of three chances, hitting the second and missing on purpose on the third, but the Herd grabbed the rebound for the win.

Crook led the Herd with 16 points and six rebounds. Thirteen of those points came in the second half. Barnette scored 14 while Hammond notched 13, 11 of which came in the second half. Despite scoring four points, Baker had a solid game, dishing out eight assists and stealing the ball four times. After a poor half of shooting to open the game, Marshall shot .533 in the second half to finish the night .431 from the field. Appalachian State finished with a .442 shooting percentage. The Herd had a slight advantage in rebounding, 38-34 and forced the Mountaineers into 21 turnovers.

The women's team will open the home schedule against North Texas, Monday at 7 p.m. Then, the Herd will host the Fifth Third Marshall Classic this weekend, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. Morgan State is playing Louisiana-Monroe at 5 p.m. on Friday and MU meeting Tennessee State at 7 p.m. The Herd will face either the Bears of MSU or the Warhawks of ULM Sat. at 5 p.m.

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