SMU's Delisha Wills scored the final eight points of the half for the Mustangs, taking a 29-26 lead at the half. Wills finished the half with ten points to lead all scorers. Marshall stayed close despite 15 first-half turnovers and a 10-2 deficit in fouls. SMU extended the lead to six points, 40-34, just over four minutes into the second half before the Herd stormed back to retake the lead. Buckets by Tynikki Crook, Chantelle Handy and Hammond put the Herd back up by two points, 42-40, with 12 minutes remaining. That marked the first of seven straight Herd points scored by Hammond.
Alyssa Hammond scored a game-high 18 points to lead Marshall to a road win over the defending C-USA champs, SMU, in Dallas on Thursday night. photo courtesy of Herdzone.com
SMU had a 58-57 lead with 4:39 remaining in the second half, however. The Thundering Herd held SMU to just five points for the rest of the game. With the score knotted at 60-60, Hammond knocked down two free throws to give MU a 62-60 lead. Up 64-60 with under a minute left, Baker was sent to the line to shoot a one-and-one. After making the first, she missed the second, but an offensive rebound sent Tania Walters to the line, who hit both to put the Herd up 67-60. Brittany Gilliam hit a three with 20 seconds remaining to bring SMU within four points, but three more free throws by Walters sealed the deal for the Herd.
Marshall out-rebounded the Mustangs by a 51-33 margin. The Herd also had a solid night from the floor, shooting .467 while holding SMU to .353 shooting. Hammond led all scorers with 18 points while Handy finished with 14 points, along with tying Crook with a game high 11 boards. Baker scored ten points. Delisha Wills led SMU with 14 points while LaShandra Hill tallied 13.
Marshall will wrap up the weekend trip against Tulsa on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. ET and all women's games are available at Herdzone.com on Gametracker as well as on the MU student station, WMUL 88.1 FM (www.marshall.edu/wmul).