The Marshall University women’s basketball team dropped their fourth straight game Saturday after falling to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 78-64.
The Herd started the first quarter trailing the Hilltoppers 5-0 before sophomore guard Shayna Gore converted a 3-pointer on an assist by senior guard Kiana Evans with 7:41 left. WKU kept their lead until the 00:45 second mark of the quarter when a layup Talequia Hamilton tied the score at 14-all, the first tie of the game. Right after, sophomore Logan Fraley drained a three to put Marshall ahead 17-14 as the first quarter came to a close.
In the second quarter, freshman Ashley Saintigene made a free throw, giving Marshall a four-point advantage before Western Kentucky quickly took the lead back less than a minute later. Marshall then did not score for over six minutes, allowing the Hilltoppers to charge ahead by 11 points. Marshall’s scoring drought ended when guards McKenzie Akers and Taylor Porter combined to score the last 5 points of the half, closing WKU’s lead 25-31.
MU scored the first five points to open the second half thanks to two free throws by Evans and a three-pointer by Gore. The score was soon knotted up less than three minutes into the half after a trey by Porter. WKU and Marshall tied six more times, with the lead changing four times. A free throw by WKU put them ahead 52-49 heading into the last quarter.
Marshall trailed throughout the fourth as WKU grew their lead to as many as 15 points with 1:19 left in the game. The Herd scored only two more points throughout the remainder of the final frame, ultimately falling by the final of 78-64.
“It’s what we talked about in the locker room before we came in,” Gore said. “I think it was with Louisiana Tech we were tied at half and we let them go, but we stuck with WKU today and there was good energy.”
Gore led the Marshall in team highs with 18 points and seven assists. Porter finished with a team high six rebounds.
“I thought we battled for the most part today,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “Defensively, we gave up too many points, in the second half but particularly the fourth quarter. I’m pleased with our effort but we have to fix our defense in the second half, particularly when they’re away from us, our staff, and our bench.”
With this loss, the Herd drop to 12-11 overall and 4-8 in Conference USA play. They take the road to play the UAB Blazers in Birmingham, Alabama Thursday Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Kaitlyn Shouse can be contacted at [email protected]