Marshall (14-13, 7-7 C-USA), who has now won two in a row after breaking a six-game losing streak, started off hot in the game with Memphis, opening up a quick 6-2 advantage less than two minutes from tip-off. Memphis (11-16, 4-10 C-USA) found its groove and, thanks to a 4-6 start from the three-point line, the Tigers would see its lead grow to nine-points, 27-19.
Alex Winchell had the hot hand for Memphis early on, hitting three treys and recording 11 out of the Tigers' first 24 points. After the Tigers were up 27-19, the Herd defense held the Tigers to just two points and no field goals over the final 6:40 of the half. Marshall would would reel off 15 points to put the Herd ahead 34-29 at halftime. The Herd kept the momentum going to open up the second period, scoring six of the first eight points to take a 40-31 lead. Ty Crook's success in the first half carried over to the second as she scored four early points. But then five straight Tiger points, coupled with turnovers on three straight possessions by the Herd, got Memphis back within a possession, 42-39. The Herd was able to overcome the run and open up a 52-43 lead as five different players scored.
Next, the Herd opened its largest advantage of the game at 63-51, with Handy scoring six in the run. Memphis did not relent, scoring the next seven points to cut the lead to five, 63-58. It also held the Herd scoreless over a five-minute span before a bucket by Handy with 1:27 remaining and she pushed the lead back to seven. Memphis cut the lead to five, but a perfect 6-6 showing from the charity stripe in the final minute cemented the win for the Herd.
The Herd was dominant in almost every category, out-rebounding the Tigers by 34-26 on the glass. Marshall hit 57 percent from the floor, compared to Memphis hitting 37 percent for the game. Both teams struggled with turnovers, as Memphis committed 24 and Marshall turned the ball over 21 times.
Marshall will return home for its final games of the regular season next weekend. On Thursday at 7 p.m., the Herd will play host to Houston before closing out the regular season against Rice on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center. The Saturday game is a doubleheader with the men's team at MU, who will face UCF at 7 p.m.
Also on Saturday, all former players for Marshall women's basketball, who from 1970-81 were known as the "Green Gals" of the first head coach, Donna Lawson. From 1981 to 1997, the women's teams were known as the "Lady Herd" under both Judy Southard and Sarah Evans-Moore, winning five Southern Conference regular season titles for Southard, now an associate A.D. at LSU, and won a SC Tournament and bid to the NCAA under Moore. Lawson won numerous state collegiate titles against West Virginia and members of the West Virginia Conference, advancing to five AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) Tournament, from 1972-1976, and went to the first-ever WNIT in 1972 at Western Carolina University, after winning a still school record 34 games that season.
For information, call the women's basketball office at 304-696-5445 or email the head coach, Royce Chadwick, at Chadwickr@marshall.edu on the web. The Rice game will also be Senior Day for Casey Baker. Kendra King was red-shirted for an injury this year, but is scheduled to return next season.