Golden Eagles’ pressuring defense hands Herd women’s basketball second conference loss


Richard Crank

Head coach Tony Kemper instructs his team during a Conference USA game.

Senior guard Shayna Gore and sophomore forward Taylor Pearson combined for 21 points for the Thundering Herd in its second conference loss to the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, 64-52, Saturday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center.

The Herd’s record dropped to 11-9, (5-2 C-USA), while the Golden Eagles extended their winning streak to two games and are now 11-10, (3-5 C-USA).

“You start by giving Southern Miss credit,” Marshall women’s head coach Tony Kemper said. “Southern Miss just handled us. (We) give them credit for their scheme to play us. We didn’t quite have the emotion that we usually have.”

The Herd struggled throughout the entire game, only shooting 35.3 percent (18-for-51) from the field. The Golden Eagles made 58.7 percent (27-for-46) of its shots to seal the game.

Along with Gore and Pearson, redshirt senior guard Taylor Porter and sophomore guard Kristen Mayo added eight points each for the Herd. Freshman guard Kia Sivils contributed seven points, making 75 percent (3-of-4) of her shots.

Head coach Kemper said that he doesn’t believe that it was a leg issue from Thursday night’s game, as the Herd defeated Louisiana Tech in a triple overtime.

“I don’t think that played a factor,” Kemper said. “They are a tough matchup for us right now.”

The Golden Eagles were led by redshirt senior guard Megan Brown, who had 17 points and made 6-of-10 shots. Junior forward Respect Leaphart followed with 13 points and junior guard Shonte Hailes added 12 points.

“I feel like they are more disciplined. We should’ve fought harder,” Sivils said. “We learn from this, and we’re going to get back to this on Thursday.”

The Golden Eagles outshot the Herd in the 3-point range, making 50.0 percent (4-for-8) of its shots. The Herd struggled from beyond the arc, only making 24.1 percent (7-for-29) of its shots. Mayo, Pearson and Porter lead the Herd in 3-pointers with two each. Brown was the lone leading shooter in 3-pointers, making two for the Golden Eagles.

“The attitude was a lot different,” sophomore forward Taylor Pearson said. “Our attitude is what we need to work on to make sure that stays consistent.”

The Thundering Herd returns to action on Thursday night as they travel to El Paso, Texas, for the first of two road conference games. Marshall will take on the Miners of the University of Texas at El Paso at Don Haskins Center with tipoff set for 9 p.m.

Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected].