Herd women pass fancy in win over Tennessee St.
HUNTINGTON - Shayna Gore moved up Marshall University’s women’s basketball scoring charts Saturday, but the senior from Logan, West Virginia, preferred to talk about passing rather than points.
Gore scored 24 to pass Sikeetha Shepard-Hall and move into third place among the Thundering Herd’s all-time scoring leaders, with 1,625 points as Marshall (5-5) defeated Tennessee State University 80-59 in front of 878 spectators at Cam Henderson Center. Gore also had five of the Herd’s 22 assists, which more than balanced out Marshall’s 13 turnovers.
“Good win today with a pretty complete basketball game from us,” Herd head coach Tony Kemper said. “I think the key stat, when I look at it, is we were 22 assists to 13 turnovers. Going back to the last game we are a combined 48 assists to 24 turnovers. We are sharing the ball much better and our scoring has taken off.”
Marshall continually scored off crisp passes and backdoor cuts, some of which even drew praise from Tennessee State fans watching from the stands. Kristen Mayo, a sophomore from Grayson, Kentucky, led Marshall with eight assists to go with eight points and four steals. Mayo had 16 assists and only one turnover in the last two games.
Gore said she had heard of Shepard-Hall’s exploits. The standout guard played at Marshall from 2002 through 2006 and is a member of the Marshall Athletic Hall Of Fame.
“It feels better that we won,” Gore said, downplaying her individual accomplishments. “It’s special, but it’s better that we won.”
The Tigers (0-10) raced to a 6-0 lead, but it didn’t last long as Gore’s basket gave Marshall a 7-6 lead with 4:30 to play in the first quarter. The Herd never trailed after that.
Marshall led 31-24 at halftime, then pulled away in the third quarter with a 27-18 run to take control. A trio of consecutive baskets by freshman Kia Sivils was key during the streak.
“I’m happy with the continued progression,” Kemper said. (Tennessee State) is a team that typically gives us problems. Usually when someone pressures us, we turn it over a lot more than 13 times. I’m very proud of the way they have taken care of things on and off the court.”
Gore and teammate Khadaijia Brooks graduated Saturday morning before suiting up for the 2 p.m. game. Brooks led the Herd with nine rebounds. She also issued three assists to go with a blocked shot and one steal.
“Greatest day of my life,” Gore said.
Redshirt senior Taylor Porter scored 16 points, her third consecutive game with at least that many, and added five rebounds and four steals. Junior Ashley Saintigene scored 11 points and had one block to continue her consecutive games with a blocked shot streak to 11.
Gore said the Herd’s proficiency sharing the ball comes from playing together.
“It’s maturity,” Gore said. “It’s reading how the defense plays us. We know what each other is going to do.”
For the season, Marshall has issued 161 assists and committed 155 turnovers, a statistic that thrilled Kemper.
“That’s a good visual,” Kemper said. “It’s a simple goal that equates to better basketball.”
Taylor Roberts led Tennessee State with 21 points. Tia Wooten scored 12 and Andreana Wrister 11.
Marshall returns to action at noon Tuesday at Clemson.
Next game: Marshall (5-5) at Clemson (7-3)
Noon Tuesday, Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, S.C.
Radio: WMUL 88.1-FM