Thundering Herd Beat Owls in Final Seconds
Feb. 5, 2015
HOUSTON, Texas - Marshall's Norrisha Victrum hit a three-pointer with one second remaining to hand the Rice Owls women's basketball team a heartbreaking 72-69 loss Thursday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (7-13, 2-7) battled Marshall (14-7, 6-4) to nine lead changes and 10 ties in a back and forth contest that came down to the final minute of regulation. The Owls had two opportunities in the final minute to break a 69-69 tie but a turnover and a Christal Porter missed jumper with 16 seconds remaining left open an opportunity for Marshall to go in front. The Thundering Herd elected not to call a timeout on the final possession, one that ended in Victrum connecting on her third three-pointer of the game.
Along with Victrum's game-high 25 points, the Herd got a 20-point performance from forward Leah Scott, making 8-of-16 shots from the field and 4-of-5 at the free throw line. As a team Marshall made 18-of-24 (75 percent) attempts at the charity stripe while the Owls were just 7-of-9.
"They've got a nice offensive balance, inside and outside, and we had a few defensive breakdowns and it seemed like every time we had one they made us pay," Rice head coach Greg Williams said. "We couldn't keep them from getting to the rim. They were just taking us to the rim one on one and getting either layups or fouls. They shoot 24 free throws and we shoot nine and that's the difference in the game. I was really happy with our offensive production," Williams said. "It was as good as it's been in a long time, especially in the second half when we shot 51 percent and scored 44 points. But we couldn't keep them from scoring as well. Those two (Scott, Victrum) in particular really hurt us."
The Owls got a splendid performance from Porter, who notched her third consecutive double-double with a team-high 18 points and 12 rebounds. Porter scored 14 second half points on 7-of-9 shooting, all while recording her 10th double-figure rebounding game of the year. Rice also got 11 points from senior guard Nakachi Maduka and 13 points off the bench from senior guard Reem Moussa.
Rice struggled shooting (34 percent) in the first half and trailed at halftime 28-25. They bounced back in a big way in the final 20 minutes, making 18-of-35 (51 percent) shots from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point territory. Moussa filled in admirably for a foul-plagued Maya Hawkins, scoring all 13 of her points in the second half in just 10 minutes of action.
Moussa gave the Owls their largest lead (67-61) of the game with 2:27 remaining after knocking down one of her three made three-pointers. However, Marshall closed the game on a 10-2 run to hand the Owls their fifth home loss of the season.
The Owls will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Western Kentucky at 2 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.