Ferguson Leads Marshall Women's Basketball to 67-49 Win In Exhibition Finale
Sophomore forward Au'Yana Ferguson scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Thundering Herd women's basketball team to a 67-49 victory over the Cincinnati Stars. Marshall ends its two-game exhibition season unbeaten.
The Herd had four players in double figures, including a pair of double-doubles. Along with Ferguson, junior forward Yashico Stevens posted 11 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Toni Patillo also reached double-figures with 11 despite shooting 2-for-13 from the floor. Patillo also led the Herd with six assists. Junior point guard Marisa Williams rounded out the offense with 10 points.
"Toni's offense wasn't there today, but she still ended up with 11 points," head coach Juliene Simpson said. "She's the type of player, though, that works twice as hard when a part of her game isn't there."
"The bottom line is you do what you have to do to win," Simpson said. "We worked hard all week to improve on blocking out on defense and crashing the boards on offense, and we did do better today, but it still isn't at the point where it comes naturally."
While exhibition statistics don't count, Ferguson's double-double was a career high in both categories. Ferguson shot 7-of-13 from floor, the only Herd player to crack the 50-percent mark, and made seven of her 10 free throw attempts.
"I was real relaxed today," Ferguson said. "I let the shots come to me rather than looking for them. I've worked hard on my shots from the elbow and free-throw line, and I'm more confident in that part of my game. My teammates also have confidence in me, and they are looking for me in that spot."
Three Stars accounted for 34 of the team's 49 points. Jenny Rauh, a former player at Xavier University led the squad with 14 points, while Shelly Klare-Cummins and Connie Hamburg, formerly of Western Michigan and Xavier respectively, each hit for 10. Marshall held the AAU team to just 25-percent from the floor.
Marshall now will focus its efforts on preparing for the regular season opener on Tuesday, November 23 at Youngstown State. The Herd continues its opening road trip on Friday, November 26 at Rider.
"These two wins bring us confidence, but we still have to improve," Simpson said. "Now we have to begin to not only work on our game, but also prepare for Youngstown State and Rider. We'll definitely see some things we haven't had to deal with yet. There's a lot to learn from this game, but I think we'll be ready for the opener."