Lady Toppers use 29-point Fourth Quarter to Top the Herd, 74-65

The Marshall University women’s basketball team was defeated by the Western Kentucky University Lady Toppers with a final score of 74-65 on Saturday afternoon in the Cam Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd dropped to 7-11 overall (2-5 Conference USA), while the Lady Toppers improved to 12-6 on the season (4-3 C-USA).

“I am just disappointed in the outcome,” Marshall Head Coach Tony Kemper said. “We definitely should’ve had a shot to win the game. That should not have been a nine-point game. We were just really sloppy with the ball and that’s a credit to how they play. They take you out of your offense and (the Lady Toppers) certainly did that to us.”

Junior forward Taylor Pearson led the Herd with 18 points (5-for-11), seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Junior guard Kristen Mayo finished with 17 points (5-for-12), two steals, two rebounds, one assist and one block. Senior guard/forward combo Princess Clemons scored a season-high 10 points (4-for-6), four rebounds, four assists, and one block starting in place of injured player Ashley Saintigene.

The Herd accumulated 20 points in the paint, 13 off turnovers, three second chance shots and eight from the bench.

Four Lady Toppers reached double digits in scoring. Redshirt senior forward Dee Givens led the way with a double-double 24 points (10-for-20) and 11 rebounds. Junior forward Reneem Elgedawy followed with a double-double as well, 19 points (8-for-11) and 13 boards. Senior guard Whitney Creech had 15 points (4-for-10) and seven assists, and sophomore guard Meral Abdelgawad brought in 12 points (5-for-9) and six rebounds.

The Lady Toppers outrebounded the Herd, 44-29. The team also shot 28-for-63 (44.4%) from the field while the Herd shot 21-for-50 (42%).

Western Kentucky had 40 points in the paint, 19 off turnovers, 16 second chance and 10 on the fast break.

The Herd’s struggles came to a head in the middle of the fourth quarter, when the Lady Toppers went on an 18-1 run that shot them to an 11-point lead, 70-59, with 1:10 remaining in the contest.

“I think it is a lot of mental and kind of team chemistry,” Pearson said. “When someone puts their head down, it’s sort of contagious. We just need that one person to tell them to keep their head up and then that keeps everybody up.”

During that run, the Herd turned the ball over five times, which put it at 20 in the game, compared to 13 for the Lady Toppers.

“The game came down to 19-points off turnovers and then we couldn’t rebound,” Kemper said. “I don’t think we were quick to the ball today; I do think we played hard.”

Up next for the Herd, the team welcomes the FIU Panthers Thursday evening with tipoff set for 6 p.m. in the Cam Henderson Center.

Spencer DuPuis can be contacted at [email protected]