Herd women blow out FIU 86-58
MIAMI - One of the things that Marshall women’s basketball head coach Tony Kemper is happy about this season is that his team is applying learned lessons by improving each day.
Saturday was no different as Marshall used a 31-point third quarter to turn a tight game into a blowout in an 86-58 victory over FIU at the Ocean Bank Convention Center.
With the win, Marshall moved to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in Conference USA. It is Marshall’s best Conference USA start since the 2008-09 season when the Herd started the year 5-1 in C-USA action.
The victory also gave Marshall only its second road weekend sweep in Conference USA play in 10 seasons.
This one was much different than Thursday’s win over Florida Atlantic, however.
On Thursday, Marshall started hot and got out to a 17-point lead, only to watch it evaporate after cold shooting in the second half.
On Saturday, though, Marshall caught fire in the second half, erupting for 54 points - its best scoring half of the season.
Much of that damage was done by Shayna Gore, who scored 19 of her 26 points in the second half to lead the surge.
Gore, who connected on six 3-pointers on the night, also had five assists with no turnovers and added three steals in a complete performance.
Marshall took a 32-29 lead into halftime, but the third quarter put the game away with Marshall outscoring the hosts 31-13 in the third to turn a one-possession game into a 21-point affair. Marshall hit seven of eight 3-pointers in the third quarter.
In addition to Gore, the Herd got balance throughout its lineup with Khadaijia Brooks scoring 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Taylor Porter and Princess Clemons each added 11 points. Porter also equaled her career high with eight rebounds.
“Shayna was outstanding today, but you can really say that about our entire team,” Kemper said. “The run in the third quarter was big, and that can be attributed to Gore and Brooks.”
FIU, which fell to 3-16 on the season and 0-6 in Conference USA, got 18 points and nine rebounds from Ce’Nara Skanes while Chelsea Guimaraes added 14 points in the loss. The complexion of the game changed with the Herd’s ability to limit Guimaraes in the second half. Guimaraes scored nine points early, but the Herd limited her in the final three quarters, which forced the Panthers out of their comfort zone.
Marshall returns to action at 6 p.m. on Thursday when Louisiana Tech visits the Cam Henderson Center. The Herd will be looking to equal their best start in Conference USA, which came in 2008-09 when they started the year 5-1 in conference play.