Herd women’s basketball defeats Golden Eagles in OT in first round of C-USA Tournament

The Marshall University women’s basketball team won its first Conference USA Tournament game since 2016 Wednesday afternoon at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas after defeating the University of Southern Miss Golden Eagles 71-67 in overtime.

Marshall (13-17, 8-11 C-USA) was led by junior guard Kristen Mayo with 22 points, which is a new season and career-high. Freshman guard Savannah Wheeler finished with 19 points and junior forward Taylor Pearson had 10.

Seniors forward Princess Clemons and guard Khadaijia Brooks led the Herd in rebounds with four a piece. Clemons also had the team’s only two solo blocks and led the team in assists with four.

“I thought we were pretty darn tough. I thought we played really well in the first half. We didn’t come out in the second half out of the locker room like we should have. That was a heck of a win,” Marshall Head Coach Tony Kemper said. “We haven’t really been playing that well. To reset and doing the things that we are capable of, we did it. We found a way to win.”

Kemper said he was proud because Southern Miss is a good team.

“I give credit to Southern Miss. They’re awfully good inside,” he said. “We battled hard enough to make their shots difficult and tough. It was a good win. It’s our first conference tournament win since 2016. I’m proud of them.”

The Golden Eagles finished its season 15-15, 7-12 C-USA and were led by three players that finished in double-digits. Respect Leaphart had 17 points, Kelsey Jones finished with 14 and Shonte Hailes capped off with 12.

Both Mayo and Wheeler gave credit to each other regarding their performances throughout the game and the entire season.

“She’s (Mayo) done a great job,” Wheeler said.  “We can always count on her to make shots.”

“I think it’s hard, but she (Wheeler) has transitioned really well,” Mayo said. “Being a point guard is a tough job and she’s done a good job.”

Up next for the Herd, it will face the No. 1 seed Rice University Owls in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. EST/11 a.m. CST at the Ford Center at The Star.

Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected].