Marshall Women’s Basketball Exits the Conference USA Tournament

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

EL PASO, Texas – Marshall women’s basketball’s Tynikki Crook earned a double-double with a team-high 18 points and 13 rebound but the Thundering Herd was outlasted by UAB,56-45 in the opening contest of the Conference USA Tournament in Memorial Gym on the UTEP campus. Crook finishes her career tallying a double-double in each of her eight postseason games with the Herd.

MU concludes the 2010-11 campaign at 9-21 overall and 5-12 in conference play.

“We are disappointed, we couldn’t keep UAB off the boards and disappointed we couldn’t keep them off the free throw line,” head coach Royce Chadwick said. “Those are two things we thought we had to do today.”

The Thundering Herd jumped out to a 4-0 lead following a Crook layup and a jumper by Veronica Ruiz, but the Blazers bounced back on a 12-0 run. During the spurt the MU went zero-for-six from the floor and was held scoreless for 8:41.

A pair of Crook free throws snapped the drought and awakened the Herd who strung together a run of its own. An Alaya Mitchell trey ball, followed by a Crook layup brought MU within one at 12-11 with 10:08 to go in the half.

Crook would tie the game with a shot from the charity stripe before the Herd would show fatigue and allow the Blazers to close out the half on a 15-6 run, taking a 27-18 advantage at the break.

The Herd shot 25.0 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, tying its lowest percentage during a C-USA Tournament game, the other coming in 2007 against Houston.

MU exploded out of the locker room connecting on its first two shots, to go along with a set of free throws, bringing itself within three at 27-24.

Crook’s layup with 9:50 remaining brought MU within one at 34-33, but an Amanda Peterson shot from beyond the arc extended the lead back to four. Lateidra Elliott responded with an off balance jumper and connected on the free throw to complete the three point play. However, Amber Jones’s layup followed by Peterson’s third trey of the contest gave UAB a six point cushion, 42-36 with 8:14 remaining.

UAB once again used a 15-6 run to jump out in front of the Herd, 52-41 with 1:53 left in the contest. Back-to-back three point baskets by Jones and Peterson with time expiring on the shot clock capped off the run for the Blazers and put the game out of reach for the Herd.

Ruiz chipped in 13 points as MU’s forwards accounted for 31 of the Thundering Herd’s 45 points.

Jones finished the afternoon tying her career-high of 23 points, while Peterson drained her 300th career three pointer to earn UAB’s single season record and poured in 12 points in the win.

“It’s disappointing for Tynikki. She has been the rock of our team. When we were down to seven players, she was playing 39 minutes a game and never once altered under double and triple teams. She really carried our team and we will not be able to replace her,” Chadwick continued.

Crook concludes her career as the only senior on Marshall’s roster. The forward will depart as MU’s fourth all-time scorer, 1,476 and fourth in rebounds, 878.

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