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Herd women hit Florida for weekend pair

January 18, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Marshall’s women’s basketball team has seen improvement in its play over the last month.

However, Marshall head coach Tony Kemper wants to see that improvement translate to when the team is away from Cam Henderson Center.

So far this season, Marshall (8-8, 2-1 C-USA) is a stout 8-2 at home, but the team has failed to win in all six opportunities away from Huntington.

The Thundering Herd women’s team looks to change that this weekend, starting with Thursday’s 7 p.m. contest at Florida Atlantic.

Marshall could be primed for its first road win of the season as they take on the Owls, who come into the contest at 3-17 overall and 0-4 in Conference USA action.

Florida Atlantic is in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. The Owls have lost six straight games at home.

While Marshall is playing better basketball coming into the contest, getting a win in Boca Raton will not be easy for the Herd, who has dropped all three matchups with the Owls in Florida.

Marshall is looking to overcome issues of its own after suffering an 85-55 loss to Western Kentucky last Saturday.

The Lady Toppers turned 20 Marshall turnovers into 30 points and used two huge spurts — one in the second quarter, one in the fourth — to earn the lopsided victory.

Turnovers will again be a big factor in Thursday’s matchup.

Marshall is 6-1 on the year when having fewer turnovers than the opposition, while the team is 2-7 when they have more turnovers than opponents.

One of Florida Atlantic’s biggest issues on the season has been turnovers, with the Owls averaging a league-worst 20.5 turnovers on the season.

That doesn’t bode well for them against a Marshall team that is second in Conference USA in steals at 9.8 per game. Marshall also is forcing the opposition into nearly 18 turnovers a game.

The offensive issues don’t end with turnovers for the Owls, who average just 58.6 points per game. By comparison, Florida Atlantic is allowing 73.8 points per game, which means that the Owls’ average margin of defeat is 15.2 points.

The Owls do not have a scorer averaging double figures. Juliette Gauthier leads the team with 9.9 points per game while Myka Johnson Matthews is next at 9.1.

Marshall is led by Shayna Gore, who averages 17.8 points per game. Taylor Porter is also in double figures with 10.8 points per game.

Following Thursday’s matchup, Marshall makes the short trip to Miami to take on FIU in a 2 p.m. matchup on Saturday.

MARSHALL (8-8, 2-1 C-USA) at FAU (3-17, 0-4 C-USA)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: FAU Arena, Boca Raton, Fla.

Radio: WMUL 88.1-FM

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