Taleya Mayberry put up 18 and Kadan Brady got 10 as the Golden Hurricane set the tone with a dominating first half
Grovey, a freshman guard from Shawnee, hooked up often with Mayberry for some big plays.
“I’ve been getting to the gym a lot and shooting a lot because Taleya Mayberry needs help shooting on the perimeter,” Grovey said.
“We just tried to get her to be more aggressive and quit acting like she’s a freshman,” Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said of Grovey. “She’s been hesitant. Her previous high was 17 and then in the next she scored four. She’s got to be aggressive for us to take the pressure off of Taleya. She had some open looks tonight and she was able to knock them down. I think that’s attributed to the fact that she spends a lot of time in the gym. She gets in here, get shots up and that’s obviously helping.”
The Golden Hurricane (6-10 overall, 1-2 in Conference USA) excelled with 3-point shooting with Grovey (4-of-7) and Mayberry (3-of-5) accounting for most. They would finish hitting 63 percent (10-of-16) outside the arc, hit 51 percent (24-of-47) overall and 47 percent (9-of-19) from the foul line.
TU also dominated the boards, out rebounding the Thundering Herd (6-10, 0-3) 41-25, with Loren McDaniel leading with 12.
“Defense and rebounding has been a big emphasis in practice,” Grovey said. “We’ve been getting outrebounded by our opponents, so we rebounding and blocking out in this game.”
Tulsa stormed to an early 8-0 lead, but Marshall came back to within 10-7.
However, TU began to take off with domination. A left-wing trey by Kadan Brady with 7:25 left in the first half, followed by two free throws by her on the next TU possession, lifted the Hurricane to a 25-14 advantage.
“We’ve had so many games this season where we competed hard and one or two little things would happen and we would not get the win,” Mossman said. “We just really needed to get over that hump and hopefully tonight will carry over to the next game. Our guys competed hard, we played great defense, especially in the first half.”
The surge continued as Mayberry got a 3 and make a lay-up at the glass off her own steal, making the score 30-16 with under four minutes left in the half.
After a 3 from Marshall’s Shay Weaver, Grovey nailed a 3, then Mayberry leaped for a lay-up after a mid-court pass from Ashley Clark and hit another trey to bring the score to 38-19 at halftime. Each Grovey and Mayberry was in on the assist for the other’s 3-pointer in that span.
“The first half was as well as we played all year,” Mossman said. “The way we played defensively, the way we shared offensively and shot a great percentage. The second half kind of turned on us, but a lot of that was based on our turnovers and us giving up some easy things inside.”
Marshall responded by opening the second half with a 16-5 run as the Golden Hurricane endured an offensive lull. But that would be as close as the Thundering Herd would get as TU regained control.
Grovey snapped the funk with a trey to increase the Tulsa lead to 46-35 with 13:23 left in the game.
Marshall was led by Shay Weaver’s 12 points. Suporia Dickens also scored 11 and Chukwuka Ezeigbo finished with 10.
The Thundering Herd shot 33 percent (18-of-54), 20 percent (4-of-20) in 3s and was 82 percent (9-of-11) in free throws.
Tulsa plays its next game Sunday at East Carolina. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.