Herd women ready for Appalachian State
HUNTINGTON — The road of the Women’s Basketball Invitational is once again taking Marshall University women’s basketball team to North Carolina.
After picking up a win at Davidson last week, Marshall heads to Boone, N.C., for a 6:30 p.m. Monday matchup against Appalachian State.
Marshall is looking to advance to the WBI semifinals for the first time in program history. The Thundering Herd’s lone other appearance in the tournament was 2015, a first-round victory at Northern Kentucky before falling on the road to Mercer.
If this contest is anything like Marshall’s other three contests within the tournament, it ought to be a game that comes down to the wire.
All three of Marshall’s previous contests in the WBI were decided by one possession or less. In 2015, Marshall got an 81-79 win at Northern Kentucky before dropping the 73-71 contest at Mercer.
Last week, Marshall led for nearly 35 minutes before having to finish strong after Davidson rallied for a late lead before the Herd got a 67-64 win.
In the win over Davidson senior Shayna Gore led the way with 19 points, but it was the post play of Taylor Pearson and Khadaijia Brooks that made the biggest difference.
Brooks went 6-of-7 from the floor and finished with 15 points while Pearson’s hustle plays for rebounds led her to an 11-point, nine-rebounds performance.
Pearson’s layup with 37 seconds left helped Marshall rally after Davidson took a brief lead in the final minute.
Getting a win over Appalachian State will require the Herd to rebound better than it did in the win over the Wildcats in the WBI opener.
Marshall got the win over Davidson despite being out-rebounded, 49-32.
As the Herd prepares for Appalachian State (19-14), Marshall will be taking on a team that has five players averaging at least four rebounds per game while out-rebounding opponents by an average of 4.9 per game.
Appalachian State has also been solid at home with no losses to non-conference opponents in the 2018-19 season.
Madi Story leads the Mountaineers at 11.9 points per game while Pre Stanley and Lainey Gosnell are at 10.4 and 10.2 points respectively. One of the keys for the Herd will be limiting leading rebounder Bayley Plummer, who is averaging 12.1 rebounds per game, which includes nearly four a game on the offensive end.
Gore averages 20.2 points for Marshall and senior Taylor Porter scores 12.3. Junior Khadaijia Brooks averages 8.6 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds.
The teams already played once this season with Appalachian State earning a 74-52 win at home on Nov. 25. Appalachian State has won the last four meetings between the teams with Marshall failing to score 60 points in any of them.