ECU Slips Past Marshall in Overtime

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
ECU Slips Past Marshall in Overtime

HUNTINGTON, WV After not being able to determine a winner in regulation, Marshall took East Carolina into overtime on Sunday afternoon. It took a last second three-pointer in the extra period to give the Pirates a 63-62 victory over the Thundering Herd.


The contest was the final home game of the 2011-12 season and featured “Senior Day” which honored Marshall’s three seniors Rashedah Henriques, Lateidra Elliott and Alaya Mitchell.


Marshall dropped to 15-13 (6-9 C-USA) with the loss, while finishing the season with an 8-5 home record. East Carolina has now won their last four out of five games and improved to 10-19 (4-11 C-USA).


Senior guard, Lateidra Elliott led the team with 14 points after playing her final game in the Cam Henderson Center. Elliott was 4-for-7 from the field and made six free throws.


Veronica Ruiz followed with 11 points after shooting 5-for-16 and recorded a team-high seven rebounds. Henriques was the final Marshall player with double-digit points, marking 10 points for the game. Henriques went 7-for-8 from the free throw line during the contest.


ECU’s Chareya Smith led the Pirates with 18 points after going 8-for-11 from the field. As a team, ECU was nearly 50.0 percent from the field after shooting 28-for-57. The Pirates accuracy was due to the amount of close shots the Herd allowed ECU to take. ECU had 38 points scored in the paint.


Marshall did out-rebound ECU, 40-34 and had 16 offensive rebounds compared to the Pirates’ 6. However, the Herd was unable to capitalize on the rebounding effort after only putting up nine second chance points.


“It’s really hard to get an offensive rebound,” said head coach Royce Chadwick. “That’s the hard part. The easy part is the finish. We did all of the hard work on every possession, but the shots that should come easy we really struggled with. You get 16 offensive rebounds, you should have some opportunities to get second chance points, but we didn’t have enough to win it.”


The game was close throughout the entire duration, though Marshall was able to jump to the biggest lead of the game with just over three minutes left in the first half, 24-18.


After going into halftime with a 28-25 lead, Marshall was able to sustain an advantage for the first 15 minutes of the second half. It wasn’t until a jumper from ECU’s Byrelle Smith gave the Pirates their first lead of the second period, 50-49.


ECU pushed their lead to 56-54 with 31 seconds left game. After Marshall missed a layup and was forced to foul with just nine seconds left, the game seemed out of reach until ECU’s Shala Hodges missed the one-and-one and Veronica Ruiz grabbed the rebound. Ruiz pushed it forward to Elliott, who drove in with just seconds left and floated a ball in as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime at 56-56.


In the five minute overtime period, Marshall established a 62-60 lead after two made free throws from Elliott. With 14 seconds left, the Pirates set up a final play that allowed a crucial three-pointer by Shala Hodges to make the score 62-63.


With three seconds left, Elliott took the inbound and sprinted down the court but the final three-pointer taken from just shy of the half-court line sailed wide.


“It was a very grueling basketball game,” noted Chadwick. “We made a lot of big time plays down the stretch to give us some opportunities to close them out, but we were just unable to make the close out plays to put us over the hump.”


“We will bounce back from this and get ready for UCF,” continued Chadwick. “We will learn from this and move on.”


Marshall will play their final regular season game in Orlando, Fla. against UCF. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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