Coming off of its first loss to an Illinois team, Young was looking to avoid a hangover as it faced West Side rival Marshall. The Dolphins would have no such hangover as they used their size advantage en route to a 61-40 win Tuesday at Young.
“We weren’t prepared for Trinity (who beat Young on Saturday),’’ said Khaalia Hillsman. “We now know that we have to play hard every night because every team is going to play its top game against us and we have to do that every game as well.’’
The game looked as if it would be a runaway for the Dolphins, as they got out to a 12-3 lead . The Commandos cut the lead to 17-8, but the No.3 Dolphins (14-2, 6-0 Windy City West) responded to take a 29-17 halftime lead.
But the game turned in the third period.
Marshall scored the first seven points of the half and Young went scoreless for 3:27, until Taylor Brame hit two free throws.
While the Marshall defense did its part, multiple turnovers prevented the Commandos from taking the lead. The team committed six turnovers during the comeback, including turnovers on three consecutive possessions.
Marshall cut the Young lead to 31-29, but the Dolphins scored the last six points of the quarter as they started a run that would blow the game open.
“We have to stay focused,’’ Hillsman said. “We lose focus and then we get frustrated and we let teams get back into the game. That can’t happen.”
Young started the fourth quarter on a 13-1 run and held Marshall without a field goal for the first half of the quarter. Hillsman scored seven points in the run.
“Personally I can’t lose focus,’’ said Hillsman. “I get frustrated when I miss layups and that leads to lapses on defense and that can’t happen. I’m 6-5. I have to be able to use that as an advantage.’’
Madinah Muhammad led Young with 17 points, while Hillsman added 13 and six rebounds. Chanel Khammarath scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Commandos (10-6, 3-3).