Great Shooting for Marshall Women’s Hoops Propelled It to a 76-66 Win Over UTEP

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Zachary Hiser

Freshman guard Savannah Wheeler dribbled the ball up the court against Florida Atlantic.

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Now winners of four of its last five games, the Marshall University women’s basketball team defeated UTEP 76-66 Saturday afternoon in the Cam Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd improved to 11-13 overall (6-7 Conference USA), while the Miners fell to 13-11 overall (6-7 C-USA).

“How about the Herd? That’s a good win,” Marshall Head Coach Tony Kemper said. “I’m proud of the quick turnaround we had. They handled it on their own and got it done. It’s easier on us when everyone tries the same stuff that we do. I thought for the most part we weathered it out. It was a good win. We’ve won four out of the last five last games. We still have room to improve.”

The Herd put four players in double figures. Junior guard Kristen Mayo led the way with 17 points (6-for-11), three assists and two steals. Freshman guard Savannah Wheeler followed with 16 points (5-for-10), five assists and two rebounds. Junior forward Taylor Pearson scored 14 points (5-for-10), all in the second half, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Redshirt senior guard/forward combo Khadaijia Brooks added 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal.

The Herd was led on the defensive side by senior guard/forward combo Princess Clemons who had seven defensive rebounds and one block. Sophomore guard Kia Sivils came off the bench to tie her career high with five steals and had a defensive outing in 20 minutes of play.

The Herd accumulated 26 points in the paint, 12 off turnovers, 11 points off the bench, four second chance and four from the fast break. It shot 55.1% (27-for-49) from the field, 45.8% (11-for-24) from beyond the arc and 91.7% (11-for-12) from the free throw line.

After not scoring at all in the entire first half, Pearson started the second half. Just 33 seconds in, she collided with the Miners’ sophomore guard Sabine Lipe in what looked like could have been a bad head injury, and Pearson was out until 2:41 left in the third quarter. After she was reinserted into the game, she scored all of her 14 points in the final 11:24 of the game. Pearson said that she knew it was time for her to get to it when she returned.

“Even when I came back in, I knew had to step up after halftime,” Pearson said. “It was turnovers and shots that got to me early in the first half, I had zero points.”

Three Miners reached double digits in scoring. Senior guard/forward combo Ariona Gill had 21 points (6-for-13), eight rebounds, two steals and one assist. Freshman guard Katia Gallegos added 12 points (4-for-13), five rebounds and five assists. Senior guard/forward combo Katarina Zec added 12 points (5-for-13), five rebounds, one block and one steal.

The Miners added 30 points in the paint, 18 second chance, 17 off turnovers, 14 from the bench, just two fast breaks. They shot 39.3% (24-for-61) from the floor, 26.3% (5-for-19) from beyond the arc and 86.7% (13-for-15) from the charity stripe.

Up next for the Herd, it travels to Bowling Green, Kentucky to take on the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers at 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. CST Feb. 20.