Herd women open C-USA vs. ODU
HUNTINGTON — As the calendar turns, so too does another chapter in the basketball season for Marshall University women’s basketball.
The new year brings new challenges as Marshall (6-7) begins play within Conference USA, hoping to avoid last year’s disappointment of missing the league tournament at season’s end. Thundering Herd conference play starts in the friendly confines of Cam Henderson Center beginning with Thursday’s 6 p.m. contest against Old Dominion (9-3).
Old Dominion comes to Huntington after earning an 81-51 win over winless Coppin State, whom Marshall also handled by 21 points earlier this season.
The Monarchs feature two of the best all-around players in C-USA in freshman wing Ajah Wayne and junior guard Taylor Edwards. Wayne averages nearly a double-double, leading the team in scoring (12.9) and rebounds (9.4) per game while providing an active player that can also distribute the ball and be disruptive defensively.
While Wayne leads the Monarchs in all statistical categories, the catalyst for Old Dominion is Edwards, who quarterbacks a balanced offense. Edwards is averaging 12.5 points while contributing 5.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
Edwards features a near 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and her ability to facilitate is pivotal for Old Dominion, who also has guard Victoria Morris averaging double figures at 12.2 points. Morris leads the Monarchs with 28 3-point field goals.
Old Dominion has been keyed by its balance offensively with seven players scoring at least six a game, but the success of the team has been in its ability to be fundamentally sound.
The Monarchs are outrebounding their opponents — something that has been an issue for the Herd — and are forcing more turnovers than they give away each game.
Old Dominion’s losses were against two Atlantic Coast Conference opponents — Virginia and No. 9 N.C. State — along with a tough West Coast road loss to St. Mary’s.
Marshall is looking to even its season record and kick off conference play strong. Last season, Marshall finished with just three wins in a C-USA campaign that included a pair of close losses to the Monarchs.
Marshall is led in scoring by senior guard Shayna Gore, who is averaging 18.4 points. Senior guard Taylor Porter is also in double figures at 10.5 points.
OLD DOMINION (9-3) at MARSHALL (6-7)
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Cam Henderson Center, Huntington
Stream/TV: C-USA TV
Radio: WMUL 88.1-FM
Tickets: Adults $5, children $3