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Defense, First Half Offense Sends @HerdWBB Past Bluefield College, 77-35

Redshirt senior Talequia Hamilton scored 14 points and added eight rebounds and two blocks vs. Bluefield College.
Dec. 11, 2016

Final Stats

Box Score (PDF)
Coach Daniel’s Postgame Press Conference
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall women’s basketball team ended a two-game slide with a 77-35 win over Bluefield College Sunday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Herd improved to 6-3 with the win and 4-0 at the Cam Henderson Center. Bluefield College dropped to 7-7 with the loss.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Herd, led by Shayna Gore’s 18. Talequia Hamilton tallied 14, Kiana Evans added 12 and Asheika Alexander and McKenzie Akers scored ten apiece. The 10 for Alexander is a career-high. Hamilton and Khadaija Brooks led the Herd with eight rebounds each. Gore had four assists. Marshall held the visiting Rams to 19.3 percent (11-of-57) from the field and 15.6 percent (5-of-32) from three-point range while forcing three shot clock violations.
The Herd opened the game with layups by Hamilton and Alexander. After the Rams scored consecutive baskets to tie the game at four, Marshall held Bluefield scoreless for the final 6:51 of the first quarter. A pair of Hamilton free throws began a 28-0 Herd run that carried over into the second quarter. After Akers made a layup to give the Herd a 10-4 lead with 5:15 to go in the quarter, Gore scored seven straight points for Marshall to extend the lead to 17-4 with 2:57 left. A three-point play by Logan Fraley and a layup by Evans closed out the forst for Marshall. The Herd held a 22-4 lead after the opening quarter.
Marshall began the second quarter with a three-point play by Alexander and a three-pointer by Evans, increasing the lead to 28-4. Layups by Ashley Saintigene and Evans put the Herd up 32-4 with 7:24 to go before halftime. A free throw by Valerie Lebedeva ended the Herd’s 28-0 run that spanned 9:23 across the first and second quarters. Emily Hart added a layup for the Rams, but Evans responded with a three-pointer to extend Marshall’s lead to 35-7 with 6:13 remaining in the half. After Danae Cox hit a three-pointer for Bluefield College, the Herd ended the half on a 10-0 run. A layup and a tip-in by Hamilton and three-pointers by Gore and Alexander gave the Herd a 45-10 lead at the half.
After a jumper by Hamilton and a layup by Gore opened the third quarter, Cox went on a 6-0 run of her own for the Rams, cutting Marshall’s lead to 49-16. Gore answered the run with a three-pointer to begin an 8-0 Marshall run, extending the Herd’s lead to 57-16 with 2:36 left in the quarter. Gore scored six of the eight points during the run. Shekina Huggins hit a pair of free throws for Bluefield College to end Marshall’s run, but Saintigene hit a jumper with less than a minute remaining in the quarter to increase the Herd lead to 59-18. Marshall took a 59-20 lead into the final quarter.
Bluefield College opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer by Deneysha Goods, one of three 3-pointers for the Rams in the quarter. The Herd answered with a layup by Brooks and a pair of free-throws by Akers, increasing the lead to 63-23 with 8:26 to go in the game. Akers drained a pair of three-pointers in a span of 36 seconds to increase Marshall’s lead to 69-25 with seven minutes left in the game. Akers is now in ninth place all-time in Marshall history with 98 made three-pointers.
After Hannah Preservati made a three-pointer for the Rams with 6:18 to go in the contest, neither team scored a point until a tip-in by Hamilton with 4:24 left in the game increased the Herd’s lead to 71-28. Marshall did not score another basket until Alexander made a layup with 1:25 remaining in the game, putting the Herd up 75-32. Marshall ended the game with a layup by Brooks, defeating the Rams by a score of 77-35.
Quotes from head coach Matt Daniel
On the team’s performance
I thought we played pretty well today. I don’t really worry about the score. If you look at the score, it was a seven-point difference in the second half. I thought we were lethargic against North Carolina and it was a four-point game for three quarters. We will try and get through finals, which is very important to our program and try to be better next time out.
On the balanced scoring
We have pretty good balance most nights. It’s been a different leading scorer almost every night. I think that we definitely have some things we can work on. We’re a good free throw shooting team, but I think we got away from our focus on that a little bit today.
On the defense
Our defensive effort was pretty good. The game plan was pretty simple for us defensively. I thought we could have done a better job on the glass and that’s something that comes with energy and focus. We still have a lot that we can improve on.
For all the latest information about Marshall women's basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter and Instagram as well as Marshall University Basketball on Facebook.
Marshall has two more home games before the holiday break on back-to-back days as the Herd will take on Longwood (Monday Dec. 19) and Maine Fort Kent (Tuesday Dec. 20).