Marshall Challenges Top Conference Team, UTEP|
Feb. 8, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall women’s basketball starts a two-game road trip with a contest against the No. 1 ranked team in Conference USA, UTEP. The Herd will tip-off against the Miners in El Paso, Texas on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Marshall enters the game 13-9 (4-5 C-USA) after splitting last week’s games against Rice and UAB. The Herd took down Rice 65-57 last Thursday, but came up short against UAB on Sunday, 50-45.
Marshall has the No. 49 ranked defense in the nation and is limiting opponents to just over 35.0 percent from the field, while snagging 11.0 steals per game. On the glass, Marshall ranks 30th nationally in rebounding margin at plus-6.2 after averaging 41.5 boards per game and only allowing opponents 35.3 per contest.
The Herd currently ranks ninth in the conference and looks to upset the top team in the league, UTEP, who is undefeated in conference play.
UTEP holds a 20-2 (9-0 C-USA) record and has won the past 10 games straight. The Miners have only recorded one loss in El Paso, boasting a 12-1 home record. UTEP’s two losses came in late December against UC Santa Barbara and Arizona State, while the Miners lost both games by a combined three points.
Marshall will be facing the No. 11 nationally ranked defense in the country as UTEP is only allowing 51.7 points per game. UTEP also claims the No. 14 spot nationally in scoring margin, scoring on average 16 points more than their opposition in each game.
The UTEP defense has been extremely efficient in forcing tough shots, ranking in the top-10 nationally in Field Goal Percentage defense and 3-Pt. Field Goal Percentage defense. On the opposite side of the court, UTEP is shooting over 40.0 percent from the field and is averaging 44.7 rebounds per game.
Gloria Brown leads the Miners in points (260), blocks (68), steals (35), rebounds (195), free throw percentage (.827), three-point percentage (.600), and field goal percentage (.540). The senior forward is No. 10 in the nation with blocked shots per game at 3.1 and also ranks nationally in rebounds per game and free throw percentage.