Women defeated by Marshall

It was a frustrating night for head coach Curt Miller and the women’s basketball team.

The Marshall Thundering Herd had their way with the Falcons to the tune of a 69-50 victory.

Marshall was led by Amy Reed’s 16 points and Amy Smith’s 14 points off the bench. Miller felt the Falcons did a good job on the Thundering Herd star players, but it was the role players such as Reed and Smith who killed the Falcons.

“The killers were Amy Smith and Nadia Swanigan,” Miller said. “Those two were huge off the bench for them and it was an area that really killed us.”

Swanigan came off the bench to score seven points and grab 10 rebounds.

“It may be the most frustrating game of the year for me personally, because I felt like we beat ourselves tonight,” Miller said. “Marshall runs three plays and you prepare a lot for them, but they still beat us on all three plays.”

“They executed better on offense than we did on defense.” Miller also feels there is an intimidation factor when the Thundering Herd comes to town.

“If you aren’t going to stand up to them, Marshall wins games before they start,” Miller said. “We were timid and we were intimidated tonight throughout the game and I clearly believe Marshall won this game before it started.”

Marshall head coach Royce Chadwick felt the transition game and the inside game were keys to the victory.

“A big key was we got the inside game going and we didn’t rely on three-pointers, which has hurt us in the past,” Chadwick said.

“We also wanted to get out and run. We didn’t want to settle as we have a tendency to do sometimes.”

The Falcons were outrebounded on the night 48-32. They also shot just 5-12 from the free throw line, a rarity for one of the best free throw shooting teams in the Mid American Conference coming in. Marshall, one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the MAC, went 12-14.

“If we make free throws we are only down four or five at halftime with one of our best players on the bench,” Miller said. “A four or five point deficit is not a big deal at home.”

The player Miller was referring to was Kim Griech. Griech only played four minutes in the first half due to foul problems. Francine Miller had 16 points in the loss for the Falcons, drawing praise from Chadwick.

“Francine Miller is the real deal,” Chadwick said. “We put two or three people on her all night and she still found a way to score. Good luck to her at the next level because I’m sure there will be some opportunities there.”

The Falcons held a 17-16 lead with 7:26 left in the first half. Marshall ended the half, however, with a 17-7 run to take a 33-24 lead at halftime. Reed had 6 points for the Thundering Herd during the run.

Out of the locker room, Kim Griech hit a three to cut the lead to six at 33-27. It was the closest the Falcons would get the rest of the way, however, as Marshall proceeded to go on a 12-4 run to take a 45-31 lead with 13 minutes left in the game.

The Falcons scored six straight points to cut the lead to 8, but Marshall went on another scoring run. This time it was a 16-6 run to give the Thundering Herd control of the game for good at 61-43 with 3:58 left in the game.