Herd women’s basketball drops final home game to Charlotte

The Marshall University women’s basketball team fell Saturday afternoon in its final game this season in the Cam Henderson Center by a score of 89-75 to the Charlotte 49ers. The loss marked the eighth straight defeat for the Herd. Charlotte meanwhile snapped a four-game losing streak of its own in Saturday’s victory over Marshall.

The 49ers (18-9, 10-6 Conference USA) have defeated the Herd (12-15, 4-12 Conference USA) now eight times in a row, and hold an overall record of 9-1 against Marshall. The Herd’s lone victory over Charlotte came in 2014 with a 71-69 win over the 49ers in Huntington.

Charlotte outplayed Marshall in most statistical categories on Saturday. The 49ers outshot the Herd percentage wise (52.9% to 36.8%), in rebounds (48-35), and in field-goals made (36-25). Charlotte led for more than 39 of the 40 minutes played.

“[Charlotte] hurt us all over the floor if you look at the stat line, and it wasn’t just one player,” head coach Matt Daniel said. “It was mistakes we made or plays they made. They’re a good ball club.”

Prior to the game, the team honored seniors Kiana Evans and Talequia Hamilton, as well as junior McKenzie Akers and sophomore Madison Morris, who both will retire from action due to injuries following this season. Evans and Hamilton, both Huntington natives, were the two leading scorers for the Herd, as Evans registered 20 points and Hamilton scored 19. Daniel called the seniors and this class one of “the most accomplished in the history of Marshall women’s basketball.”

“It was tough,” senior Kiana Evans said. “I’m proud to represent Marshall, and to have been able to play here for four years. I wish today we would’ve been able to have won.”

As a transfer from Cincinnati and as a redshirt senior, Talequia Hamilton is fighting to gain another year of eligibility from the NCAA. Daniel said the team is fighting to gain another year for Hamilton, which would certainly help the Herd due to Hamilton’s size and inside presence.

The Herd currently sits in 12th place in the Conference USA. The top 12 of the 14 teams in the conference make the conference tournament. With two games to go, Marshall travels to Rice and North Texas next Thursday and Saturday respectively. For a team that made the semifinals of the conference tournament last season, head coach Matt Daniel does not want to completely miss the tournament for the first time in his Marshall tenure.

“We’re fighting to get into the conference tournament, I do not want to be left out of the conference tournament,” Daniel said. “I don’t want to know what it feels like.”

Patrick O’Leary can be contacted at [email protected].