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Thundering Herd Set for Super Sunday Clash with Golden Eagles

Taylor Pearson
Taylor Pearson
Feb. 3, 2018

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HATTIESBURG, Ms.The Marshall women's basketball team (7-14 overall, 1-7 Conference USA) will travel to Hattiesburg Sunday afternoon for a 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT game in Reed Green Coliseum that will air on CUSA.tv.

The Series: Southern Miss leads the series 14-8
Southern Miss has won 14 of the 22 all-time meetings between the two schools, including five of the last seven. The Thundering Herd won the last meeting in Hattiesburg, 63-53, on the strength of a combined 48 points from the trio of Leah Scott (18), Kiana Evans (17) and Shayna Gore (13) and a stout defensive effort that held USM to just 18 second-half points. That win was the 2015-16 regular season finale and helped vault Marshall to the six-seed in the following week's Conference USA Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama.

Scouting the Golden Eagles: The Golden Eagles (12-9 overall, 4-4 C-USA) are led by Jayla King's 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. She also boasts a team-high 50 steals. Shonte Hailes leads the way in assists (109). As a team, Southern Miss is second in the league in field goal percentage (.453), rebounding defense (32.6), rebounding margin (+6.2), assists (6.0), and offensive rebounding percentage (.413). It is last in 3-pointers per game (3.8).

Marshall's Individual Conference USA Ranks (Top 10):


 

 

Scoring: Shayna Gore, 2nd (19.4); Talequia Hamilton, 8th (15.0)

Blocked Shots: Talequia Hamilton, 3rd (1.7)

3-Pointers Per Game: Shayna Gore, T-2nd (3.0)

Free Throw Percentage: Shayna Gore, T-4th (.824)

3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Shayna Gore, 8th (.409)

The Highs: Shayna Gore posted career-highs in points (32), field goals made (12) and 3-pointers made (eight) in the loss at Charlotte. The eight treys were a school record, topping AJ Johnson's previous mark of seven against Brescia on December 22, 2014, and tied for the sixth-best single-game total in Conference USA history. Also Friday, Kristen Mayo posted career-bests in minutes (35), assists (seven) and tied her top mark in steals with four. Finally, Talequia Hamilton played a career-best 38 minutes.

70: The Thundering Herd is 7-1 this season when reaching the 70-point mark. Its only loss is an 85-76 at the hands of Cleveland State.

Gore Surging From the Arc: Shayna Gore has made steady improvement over the course of her career at Marshall, with jumps from her freshman to sophomore to junior seasons in field goal percentage (.399-.443-.450), 3-point percentage (.295-.372-.409) and scoring (10.8-17.5-19.4).

Gore Joins the 1,000 Point Club: In the third quarter at home against Morgan State (Dec. 6), Shayna Gore had 10 points and needed just three more to reach 1,000. The junior guard received a pass from Tana Driver and fired off a three from the top of the key and drained it to reach the historic milestone. It was the 70th game of her career. Gore became the 21st member of Marshall's 1,000 Point Club and joined two of her old teammates from her freshman season in Leah Scott (1,371) and Norrisha Victrum (1,003). She currently has 1,278 points and is eighth all-time in Thundering Herd history.

Talequia Hamilton currently has 987 points at Marshall. She also tallied 11 as a freshman at the University of Cincinnati during the 2011-12 season.

SWAT Duo: Talequia Hamilton and Ashley Saintigene continue to form a formidable shot-blocking duo this season. The two towers combined for 96 blocks in 2016-17 and have 57 this year through 21 games. Hamilton recorded the 100th for her career at No. 22 Kentucky and is currently third all-time with 127.

Saintigene finished her freshman season with 42, the sixth-highest single-season mark in program history. The sophomore began the 2017-18 season with a career-high six blocks against Longwood to move into the top 20 all-time at Marshall. She now has 64 in her career and is 12th.

Protecting the Ball: Marshall committed just eight turnovers in the 78-75 win over FIU, a season-low for the program.

Converting Freebies: Marshall made 15 of its 16 free throws in the 67-54 loss to Middle Tennessee, the highest percentage for the program (minimum 10 attempts) since swishing all 10 in a 54-52 win at Louisiana Tech on March 3, 2016.

Herd Stifles Alice Lloyd: Marshall allowed just 46 points and three 3-pointers to Alice Lloyd, a program who came into the contest averaging 87 points and 10 3-pointers per game. The Thundering Herd's starting five combined for 85 of Marshall's 96 in the win with all five hitting double-figures for the first time this season. Junior Shayna Gore led all scorers with 23, her sixth 20-point output of the season and 19th of her career. Junior Ekaterina Zhibareva put up a career-high 21 on 9-of-15 shooting and grabbed six boards. Redshirt senior Talequia Hamilton recorded her fourth double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Freshmen Taylor Pearson and Kristen Mayo chipped in 12 points each. Pearson added a career-best six boards.

Off the bench, Mychelle Johnson grabbed five rebounds and added three assists, three steals and led the Herd in blocks with two. Freshman Brianna Toney scored a career-high five points and one blocked shot in five minutes of work. Redshirt sophomore Tana Driver tied for the team lead with four assists, added two steals.

On Fire from Deep: At Tennessee State, it seemed the Herd could not miss in the first half, especially from three. At the end of the first quarter, Marshall was 7-of-9 from long range and led by 19 (29-10) at the end of the period. In the second quarter, the Herd hit 3-of-4 from three and finished the first half 10-of-13 from beyond the arc. Shayna Gore buried four while Kristen Mayo and Tana Driver both drained two apiece.

Johnson Hits the Floor in her Hometown: Mychelle Johnson finally got her opportunity to join her Marshall teammates in uniform and on the court for game day against Kentucky Christian (Dec. 18). The Huntington, W.Va., native had to wait through the fall semester after transferring from Middle Tennessee. Once the 5-5 guard got on the floor, she took advantage of the opportunity. Johnson played 22 minutes off the bench and dished out a game-high six assists. She added four points, four rebounds and two steals. Johnson played 12 minutes at Tennessee State, and while she did not score, she ripped off a career-best four steals.

Marshall Steals its Way to Big Win over Kentucky Christian: The Thundering Herd ripped off 26 steals while forcing the KCU Knights into 30 turnovers (Dec. 18) in a 111-38 victory. Marshall recorded 15 thefts in the first half and scored 44 points off turnovers. It was the most steals the Herd has had in a game since Jan. 17, 2013 at Tulsa, a 67-49 Golden Hurricane win, when Marshall had 15. Talequia Hamilton and Shayna Gore had seven steals each, both career-highs. Taylor Pearson contributed a career-best three and Tana Driver had two. Middle Tennessee State transfer, and Huntington native, Mychelle Johnson ripped off two steals in her first action of the season. In fact everyone who played for the Herd recorded at least one steal, with the exception of Ashley Saintigene who recorded four blocks.

Driving the Offense: Redshirt sophomore guard Tana Driver during a four-game starting streak (Nov. 30-Dec. 10), dished out the ball. In her first career start against Winthrop (Nov. 30), Driver handed out a career-best six assists. The following game, Driver recorded four more assists against Southern Illinois (Dec. 2). Against Morgan State, Driver broke her two-game old career-high with seven dimes and had two more at Florida. Over the four games, Driver combined for 19 assists to just six turnovers. Defensively during the same span, she recorded seven steals.

Opening 20: For the third-straight season, Shayna Gore opened the year with a 20-point performance. In her collegiate debut on Nov. 13, 2015 at Morehead State, Gore scored 27 points in Marshall's 104-101 victory. On Nov. 11, 2016, she began her sophomore season with a career-high 29 in a 55-53 win at Illinois. Then, on Nov. 10, 2017, the junior guard led the team with 22 points as the Herd defeated Longwood 90-45 in the Cam Henderson Center. It was her 14th 20-point performance of her career. All totaled, Gore has scored 78 points in three, season-opening wins.

Cleaning the Glass: With Saintigene and Fraley both grabbing double-digit rebounds, it was the first game for the Herd with two players recording 10 or more since Dec. 20, 2016 against Maine-Fort Kent. In the 136-62 Marshall win, Saintigene led with 15 rebounds and Khadaijia Brooks pulled down 12. The team totaled 65 against Longwood, its highest total since the Maine-Fort Kent contest.

Up Next: Marshall returns to Huntington to start a three-game homestand that begins with UTSA on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.

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