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Women’s basketball earns consecutive road wins, sixth seed in tournament

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Women’s basketball earns consecutive road wins, sixth seed in tournament

Sophomore guard Taylor Porter shoots a 3-pointer against UAB Feb. 25.

Sophomore guard Taylor Porter shoots a 3-pointer against UAB Feb. 25.

Ryan Fischer

Sophomore guard Taylor Porter shoots a 3-pointer against UAB Feb. 25.

Ryan Fischer

Ryan Fischer

Sophomore guard Taylor Porter shoots a 3-pointer against UAB Feb. 25.

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Marshall University women’s basketball closed out the regular season Saturday with a 63-53 win on the road against the University of Southern Mississippi.

With victory the Herd finished the regular season with a 19-10 overall record, the best mark since the 2004-05 season, while its 9-9 conference record was the program’s best since the 2006-07 season.

Marshall’s victory was buoyed by its success from the 3-point arc, where it tied a season-high with 11 made 3-pointers. However, the success from downtown didn’t come courtesy of the usual suspects as guard Kiana Evans knocked down a career-high four 3s, while senior forward Leah Scott tied a career-high with three made 3s.

Evans and Scott entered the game ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, on the team in made 3-pointers.

Scott led the team with 18 points, and Evans added 17 to go with seven rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard Shayna Gore came off the bench to score 13 points as the only other member of the team to post double figures.

Forward Caitlin Jenkins led Southern Mississippi with 12 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.

Jenkins and Golden Eagles actually led by as many as nine in the opening quarter and took a 35-31 lead into the half, but Marshall rebounded in the third quarter thanks to a defensive effort that squandered just eight points in the 10-minute period.

Marshall led by four heading into the fourth quarter, where it continued to increase the advantage, eventually going by 12 with 2:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The win gave the Herd back-to-back conference road victories for the first time since 2010, a feat head coach Matt Daniel said exceeds far beyond a simple 2-0 record for the team’s final regular season week of action.

“This was a program-changing weekend for us,” Daniel said. “Our kids continue to leave everything out on the floor, and it seems like every time you turn around, someone different is stepping for us. That’s the beauty of the way we play.”

With its back-to-back victories, the Herd earned the six seed in the Conference USA Tournament and will face the winner of Florida International University and University of Texas at San Antonio 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the tournament’s host site in Birmingham, Alabama.

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