"We didn't have any finals today," said Royce Chadwick in the post-game press conference. "But if you wanted to call this a final, I'd say we got an 'F' on the game today." Marshall trailed from the opening tip, actually down by as much at 18 points in the second half.
Ohio's Jennifer Bushby tried to avoid the pressure of Marshall's Casey Baker and Tania Walters in the first half. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Marshall was out-rebounded 41-31, despite the excellent play of junior forward Chantelle Handy. The player from Durham, England, had he second-career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. "My teammates did a great job of finding me for open looks," Handy said after the game, in front of the entire team. Chadwick kept the team in the locker room about 25 minutes, then brought the entire team into the press conference to hear what was said about the game.
"I wanted them her to understand what we have to do here," said Chadwick. "We have to be physical. Any team that watches the Seton Hall loss (last Saturday in New Jersey, 73-52) and the Ohio game will say, 'We just have to be physical with Marshall.' We got pushed off the block, out of position on nearly every possession."
Angelica Harris drove the lane in front of Ohio's Maxine Ohakim. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Marshall dug a huge first-half hole, trailing initially by 0-5, then 2-11 at the 13:44 mark. With the press working to a degree, the Herd pulled back within three at 11-14 with 6:49 to play, but would be out-scored over the last 6:23 by 18-to-8 and trailed at half, 28-19. MU shot only 28.6 percent in the first half (6-for-21) and missed all three shots from behind the arc. The lead could have been bigger, but Ohio only shot 3-of-8 at the line and 1-for-6 from three.
Marshall trailed by 18 points at the 17:41 mark, 19-37, as Ohio started the second half like the first with a 9-0 run. The rest of the half belonged to the Bobcats (3-5). MU would cut the lead to nine, 42-51, at the 5:07 mark, but Jenny Poff nailed a three on the next trip down to settle the game, as Ohio pushed the lead to 18 points again before winning 67-53.
Marshall's Tynikki Crook put up two of her 12 points over Ohio University's Chandra Myers in the second half. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
For Marshall, now 5-3 on the season and losers of two games in a row, they have to put this game behind them and get ready for Houston Baptist on Tuesday in Huntington at 7 p.m., then Richmond at 3 p.m. in another double-header with the men on Dec. 20. "We have to practice being more physical," said Handy. "We don't do that, and it showed in this game. We have to get ready for Houston Baptist on Tuesday."
Ohio had four players in double-figures, including Lauren Hmeil with 16, Chandra Myers with 14, Poff with 11 (3-of-7 on threes) and Jennifer Bush with 10. They shot 49 percent on the afternoon, hitting 26-of-53. Hmeil had nine rebounds while Myers and Kamille Buckner each had eight in a plus-10 rebounding game over the Herd (41-to-31). Only a 52 percent shooting afternoon at the line (11-of-21) kept the game closer than it was.