On only one occasion did the Lady Owls score on three straight possessions, their 26 turnovers having a significant adverse impact. In the last five-and-half quarters since an injury to sophomore point guard Molly Evans, who saw limited action in the finals, Marshall has coughed the ball up 40 times.
What kept the Lady Owls in contention against Wellington-Napoleon was defense. The Lady Tigers made only one of 14 field-goal attempts during the opening period, although converting 12 of 16 free throws gave them a 14-9 lead.
A pair of buckets by senior Mikalya Seitz and two charity shots from senior Katie Kropp -- who scored 15 of her game-high 21 points from the line two days after breaking the 1,000-point career mark -- pushed Wellington's cushion to 10 points midway through the second period.
That would be Marshall's largest deficit, but it was trimmed in half before the end of the half after senior Karson Heying drained her first three-pointer of the season and senior Stephanie Markes found senior Jashawna Terry open in the low post for a deuce.
The Lady Owls missed 10 of 12 attempts from the floor during the third quarter, but didn't lose ground because Wellington also missed 10 shots.
A put-back by sophomore Makala Colbert had Marshall within four points with 3:14 left, but turnovers on the next four possessions gave the Lady Tigers a chance to extend the margin to nine points when Kropp converted a conventional three-point play and sophomore Jennifer Rodgers finished a fast break with 2:20 remaining.
Wellington (14-2) sealed the win during the final minute by sinking four of six from the stripe, winding up with a 38-18 advantage in free-throw attempts and 23-9 edge in scoring from the line.
Marshall finished third in the meet a year ago after losing its opener to the Lady Tigers, 56-51. The Lady Owls held their opponent to 23.6 percent shooting from the field and had a 52-38 edge in rebounding.
Heying wound up with 11 points, Colbert collected 13 boards and Markes contributed nine rebounds and four assists for Marshall (9-5) -- which had its three-game win streak snapped.
The Lady Owls are the No. 3 seed in the 32nd Wildcat Classic at Slater, which they open Tuesday against Fayette.