Herd Women 5-1, Beat UT-Arlington, 82-72

The Thundering Herd women's basketball team jumped out to an 18-point first half lead and held on for an 82-72 win over UT Arlington Tuesday evening at the Cam Henderson Center. Sophomore Tynikki Crook was once again the star for the Herd (5-1), scoring a career high 22 points while tallying five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Angelica Harris and Alyssa Hammond notched 12 apiece. Harris, Conference USA's most accurate three-point shooter entering the contest, only added to that statistic, going a perfect 3-3 beyond-the-arc. She also grabbed a career high eight rebounds. Hammond was a solid 6-of-9 from the floor with five boards.

Alyssa Hammond drove past UT-A's Shalyn Martin during the second half of The Herd's 10-point win over the Mavericks. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

"I thought we played really well in the first half and the second half seemed to be 89 minutes; it was eternal. I kept looking up at the clock and seemed like it wouldn't go," head coach Royce Chadwick said.

"A lot of that was that we kept putting them at the free throw line, stopping the clock and prolonging the game. I was happy with the way our bench came in; we had a lot of people in foul trouble and they had to come in and make adjustments."

The Mavericks (2-4) kept the game close early. After Marshall grabbed a 2-0 lead off of the tip, UTA came right back to tie the game. Though UTA would never lead in the contest, the Mavericks forced three early ties.

With the game tied at 8-8 at the 2:37 mark, Marshall made its first run of the game, scoring nine straight points. A deep three by Casey Baker started the run, which was followed by two lay-ups by Alix Barnette and a bucket by Andrea Ibezim.

Chantelle Handy drove through the pressure of UT-Arlington's Erin Dixon in the second half. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

UTA would cut the Marshall lead to seven before another 9-0 run put Marshall up by 16 points. After points from Baker and Crook, Stick Harris and Rashedah Henriques hit threes on consecutive trips down the floor to make it a 28-12 game. Following a shots by UTA, Harris notched yet another Trey to extend the lead to 17 points.

With seven minutes remaining in the half, a shot by Hammond put the Herd up by a game-high 18 points. The Mavericks cut the lead down to 13 points with under two minutes remaining in the half before settling for a 15-point halftime deficit.

In the second stanza, the lead never got below double digits. At the three minute mark of the half, two free throws by Crook gave the Herd a 48-29 lead, its largest of the contest.

UTA refused to give up, cutting into the lead steadily over the next few minutes. With 9:24 left in the game, a free throw by Shalyn Martin cut the lead to 11, the lowest it had been since the halfway point of the opening half.

The Herd lead hovered around there for the next three minutes before a lay-up by Hammond, followed by a Crook jumper put the Herd back up 14. With 3:12 remaining, Harris hit her third trey, which proved to be the dagger for UTA, putting them down 17. The Mavericks would score six in the final minute to make it an 82-72 final.

Marshall shot a solid .544 from the field for the game, a sharp improvement over its .345 performance last time out against Morehead State. The defense held UTA to .414 shooting, including .367 in the first half.

The Herd was solid on the boards once again, outrebounding UTA 40-30. It was also dominant in the paint, finishing with a 44-30 advantage inside.

Chantelle Handy led all players with nine boards. She also scored five while dishing out three assists.

"We had a lot of people make a positive contribution tonight," Chadwick continued. "We made a lot of mistakes; way too many turnovers but we're certainly happy to get a W and get ready for Seton Hall Saturday."

Candice Champion led UTA with 22 points, including a 10-of-11 performance from the charity stripe. Shalyn Martin recorded 16 points while Tamara Simmons scored 11. Erin Dixon, who entered the game averaging 17.2 PPG and 11.6 RPG, was held to just four points and seven rebounds.

Marshall will take to the road for the second time this season, traveling to Seton Hall for a 2 p.m. game on Saturday. The Herd's next home game will be on Saturday December 13 as Ohio U. will travel to Huntington.

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