AP NEWS

Marshall women travel to ODU

March 2, 2019
Marshall's Taylor Porter (11) attempts a shot over Rice's Nicole Iademarco (22) during a Conference USA women's basketball game on Feb. 9 at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — As Marshall started Conference USA play in the 2018-19 season, not much was expected of the Herd after the team’s struggles last year.

The Herd was picked 13th by the league coaches and Marshall entered conference play at 6-7 overall. For Marshall, that seems like an eternity ago.

The key to Marshall’s turnaround came on Jan. 3 when Marshall started the New Year and the new conference season by upsetting Old Dominion - considered one of the league favorites-by a score of 57-48 in Huntington.

Marshall head coach Tony Kemper has stated throughout the season that he feels that win over Old Dominion helped spark the turnaround in his program because players started believing after that point.

The Herd went on to win five of its first six conference games and now has itself tied for fourth in the Conference USA standings as it heads into its final road conference game of the season.

That trip brings things full circle for the Herd as they travel to the Constant Center to take on Old Dominion at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Marshall (15-12, 9-5 C-USA) is hoping to maintain its stance for the final bye berth in the Conference USA tournament, and to do so, the team will need a tough road win over the Monarchs on Saturday to improve its chances.

Old Dominion (17-9, 8-6 C-USA) comes in just one game behind Marshall in the conference standings, meaning a win would give the teams the same conference record and a split in the season series. Defense propelled the Herd to a win in the first game of the conference season in Huntington as Marshall kept the Monarchs to just 31 percent shooting, which included a 5-of-22 performance from 3-point range.

In the loss to Marshall, the offensive struggles of the Monarchs started with point guard Taylor Edwards, who boasts one of Conference USA’s top assist-to-turnover ratios.

Edwards was forced into eight turnovers on the evening, which was more than the team’s entire assist total. ODU had six assists and 23 turnovers, which led to 25 points for the Herd.

Because of Edwards’ inability to get the offense going, Old Dominion’s Victoria Morris - the team’s leading scorer - was never able to find a rhythm, finishing with a 3-for-11 shooting performance. Morris, who averages 12.6 points per game, had only eight points in Marshall’s win in Huntington. Marshall’s defense is looking to continue its strong play and keep the game as a lowscoring affair.

When Marshall keeps its opponents to under 65 points, the Herd is 10-3 with two of those losses coming in the first three games of the year as the team was jelling offensively. For Marshall, Shayna Gore is averaging 19.7 points per game while Taylor Porter is adding 12.1 points per game.

After that contest, the Herd will have one game left in the regular season — that being a 6 p.m. contest on Thursday night against Florida International at Cam Henderson Center.