Herd WBB’s season ends in first game of C-USA tourney


Zachary Hiser

Graduate student Kennedi Colclough pulls up for a jumper around the free throw line against Old Dominion on Friday, Feb. 5.

With 59 seconds left in its opening game of the Conference USA tournament, the Marshall women’s basketball team led Louisiana Tech by three points, but the Lady Techsters scored five straight points, aided by a bad Marshall turnover, to win 50-48 Wednesday afternoon in Frisco, Texas.

Even with the critical errors by Herd players in the last 13 seconds of the contest, Marshall had a chance to send the game to overtime.

With two seconds left on the clock, senior forward Taylor Pearson drove to the hole and put up a runner at the buzzer that was no good.

“I thought we were tough to the end,” head coach Tony Kemper said holding back his emotions. “Obviously, they made one big play that we didn’t make.”

Kemper said that the lack of offense from the Herd after the first quarter was the story of the game.

Scoring 20 points in the first quarter, the Marshall offense manufactured only 28 points in the final three quarters. The Herd shot 58.3% from the field in the first quarter, but as the La Tech defense tightened, Marshall shot a mere 24.5% in the final three quarters.

“We just needed a couple others out there that have the confidence that they can make the plays to win the game,” Kemper said.

The Louisiana Tech defense, Kemper said, also deserves a lot of credit for holding the Marshall offense 12 points below its season average.

One of the Lady Techsters defensive successes was holding back sophomore guard Savannah Wheeler. Although Wheeler scored 17 points, she was taken out of the game for a long segment following the first quarter, scoring zero points in the second quarter and going 16:05 without scoring.

When Wheeler was taken out the game, the Marshall offense was out the game; the Herd scored four points in the second quarter and eight in the third quarter.

Because of the lack of scoring, Marshall dug itself into a six-point hole heading into the fourth quarter.

However, the offense bounced back in the fourth quarter to retake the lead, sparked by Kennedi Colclough. Colclough finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards.

She hit two of Marshall’s six threes, but ultimately, the Herd only shot 28.6% from deep.

The Lady Techsters did not light it up beyond the arc either, shooting a horrid 6.3%, but La Tech was able to score 28 points in the paint compared to Marshall’s 20.

Leading La Tech was sophomore forward Anna Larr Roberson, who scored 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

Louisiana Tech moves on in the Conference USA tournament to face Middle Tennessee.

Marshall ends the unusual 2020-2021 campaign with an 8-11 overall record and 7-9 conference record.

An emotional Kemper said that it was a difficult year especially for it to end the way it did.

“I know a lot of people worked really hard to get us here,” Kemper said, “and I thought our kids showed them that they wanted to be here.”

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].