Second Half Struggles Lead to 61-57 Loss Against ECU

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

GREENVILLE, N.C. Despite jumping to a 10-point lead early in the first half, Marshall struggled in the second half on Sunday afternoon to lose to ECU on the road, 61-57.

Marshall dropped to 13-11 (4-7 C-USA) with the loss and now holds a three-game losing streak. ECU improved to 7-17 (1-10 C-USA) with the victory, earning its first league win and breaking a 14-game losing streak.

Alaya Mitchell and Shay Weaver led the Herd with double-digit point totals. Mitchell had a team-high 15 points, while Weaver marked 13 points and accounted for all of Marshall’s three-pointers (3).

The Herd earned 18 points from the free throw line after only missing three free throw attempts and posted an 85.7 percent average from the stripe.

Defensively, Marshall recorded 10 steals, compared to ECU’s five and also had fewer turnovers. However, Marshall’s defense was unable to contain the ECU offense in the second half as the Pirates went 14-for-29 from the field for just under a 50.0 percent average.

Marshall built a 20-10 lead in the first half after going on a 9-0 run with nearly nine minutes left in the opening period.

ECU cut the 10-point advantage to just three points at halftime, due in part to the Pirates’ Kristine Mial having a 14 point tally in the first half.

“They ran a lot of screens for her,” commented head coach Royce Chadwick on Mial’s first half scoring. “We didn’t do a good enough job of talking through the screens. The second half we did better, putting some different people on her and talking through the screens.”

The Herd allowed ECU to go on a 7-0 run to open the first half and the Pirates took its first lead at 26-24.

The two teams battled for the lead in the ensuing 11 minutes, changing the lead five times during the span.

The Pirates took over control of the contest in the final three minutes, going 8-for-10 from the line and adding two field goals to establish its biggest lead of the game at 59-51 with 30 seconds left in the game.

Shay Weaver hit two three-pointers in a row in the final 15 seconds, but it wasn’t enough as ECU took the 61-57 win.

“We played well for about 32 minutes,” commented Chadwick after the loss. “We ran out of gas down the stretch. They made a couple of plays and we tried as hard as we could to respond, we just couldn’t quite find the energy to finish it.”

Marshall was limited to nine field goals in the second half and marked just over a 30.0 percent average from the field, while allowing the Pirates 14 made field goals and nine free throws.

The Herd will return home for a game against Memphis on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET and then will return to the road for a game against UAB on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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