Second-half rally lifts the Orange over Marquette

After a sloppy first half, the Orange battled back to take down the Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

The Orange picked up their fifth Big East victory of the season with a 69-60 win against the Marquette Golden Eagles. Nicole Michael Had a game-high 18 points while Carmen Tyson-Thomas added a career-high 14 points and a game-high 19 rebounds.

Marquette’s pressure defense made it hard for the Orange to get into a rhythm and run their offense. The Golden Eagles forced the Orange into 17 first half turnovers. This allowed Marquette to jump out to a 26-16 lead. Michael, one game removed from becoming the SU Women’s Basketball programs all-time leading scorer helped keep the Orange close in the first half. With such sloppy play early, SU was lucky to go into halftime only trailing by three.

Photo: Jamie De Pould
Junior Erica Morrow passes to Nicole Michael during the second half. Morrow and Michael combined for 30 points in 69-60 win over Marquette.

The Orange came out in the second half with a sense of urgency, scoring six quick points on their first three possessions. The Orange took their first lead of the game five minutes into the second half and never looked back. The size of Michael and forward Juanita Ward began to overwhelm the smaller Golden Eagles team. The Orange out-rebounded Marquette 45-31. As a senior leader, Michael knew it was up to her and Ward to help get the Orange going.

“Me and Juanita are both leaders," Michael said. "We have to play our role which means keeping the team up, playing hard, and scoring. We just do what we have to do.”

Ward and Michael’s leadership seemed to inspire Tyson-Thomas. The freshman from Philadelphia scored all of her 14 points in the second half and continues grow as her role on the team increases. After recording career highs in her past two games, Tyson-Thomas attributes her expanded role on the team to hard work and effort. “I play with a lot of effort and I hustle a lot. Everything I do on the court stems off on how much I want to play and the effort that I give.” Guard Erica Morrow also showed composure down stretch going 7-7 in the second half from the free throw line.

As the Orange move forward, their success will be based on how well their guards take care of the ball. Turnovers are the common theme in all of their losses. The Orange can always rely on Michael, but it will take more than Michael to get a bid to the NCAA tournament. With Tyson-Thomas coming into her own, junior point guard Tasha Harris may see a decreased role if she fails to take care of the ball. The Orange are back in action Tuesday night at 7p.m. on the road against Big-East cellar-dweller, Villanova.

Senior Nicole Michael scored on a huge breakaway late in the second half to put the Orange ahead 66-60. Copyright 2010 Jamie De Pould/

Senior Nicole Michael scored on a huge breakaway late in the second half to put the Orange ahead 66-60.(Photo: Jamie De Pould)

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