Herd Women’s Basketball Ends Four Game Skid With 85-75 Win Over Owls

Marshall University women’s basketball ended its four-game losing streak as it defeated Florida Atlantic 85-75 Saturday afternoon in the Cam Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd improved to 8-12 overall (3-6 Conference USA), while the Owls fell to 9-12 on the season (3-7 C-USA).

After Thursday’s 68-65 loss to FIU, Marshall Head Coach Tony Kemper emphasized the team’s shooting woes during Friday’s practice.

“I’m not a psychologist at all, I probably did the worst thing you could do,” Kemper said. “We watched our 50 misses (from Thursday). We were 22 of 72. I just (turned it on) and nobody said a word for five minutes.”

After a close first quarter that saw the Owls with a slight lead over the Herd, 20-17, Marshall came out in the second quarter and turned on the jets as it took a 23-22 lead on a three-pointer by freshman guard Savannah Wheeler with 7:46 left. The Herd never looked back. It outscored FAU 54-29 until there was 8:05 left in the contest.

FAU then went 12-0 run for the next 3 minutes 24 seconds, before junior guard Kristen Mayo took over the game and scored 11 of Herd’s final 14 points to give it a much-needed win.

“I have been a little down on myself the past two games, been in a little rut,” Mayo said. “(My shooting) percentage hasn’t been where I need it to be, where the team needs it to be. They just keep saying to keep my head up, so that’s what I gotta do.”

Kemper said he was pleased with his team’s effort and ability to put Thursday’s loss behind them quickly.

“It was good to win,” Kemper said. “We definitely had our backs against the wall, based on what went on Thursday night. We played as well as we have all year, definitely for three quarters. Decisions, we struggled down the stretch, but it is very correctable. Honestly, that is way closer to what I thought the team would play like on offense all year.”

After scoring a career high 22 points in the loss Thursday, Wheeler went out and dropped 25 points (9-for-15), three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Mayo scored 20 points (5-for-10), three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Junior guard Taylor Pearson tied her career high with 19 points (5-for-12), her sixth straight game in double figures, four rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal.

The Herd accumulated 26 points off the bench, 24 in the paint, 10 off turnovers and from the fastbreak, and six second chance.

Four Owls reached double digits in scoring. Led by freshman guard Lotta Vehka-Aho’s with 17 points (5-for-17), three rebounds, one assist and two steals. Junior forward Astou Gaye followed with 16 points (6-for 13), six rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guard/forward combo Juliette Gauthier had her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points (4-for-8) and 11 rebounds. Graduate guard Crystal Primm rounded out the team’s double-digit scorers with 11 points (5-for-11), eight rebounds, one assist and one steal.

The Owls added 33 points in the paint, 19 off turnovers, 16 from the bench, 13 second chance and nine fastbreaks.

Up next for the Herd, the team travels to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles Thursday with tipoff set for 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. CST.

Spencer DuPuis can be contacted at [email protected]