HUNTINGTON, WV The Marshall women’s basketball team received a career-day from junior Taylor Pearson in a 60-47 win over the Coppin State Eagles, Tuesday in the Cam Henderson Center. Pearson scored a career-best 19 points.
The Thundering Herd improved to 3-1 and the Eagles fell to 0-4.
“Kind of a grinder of a game,” Herd head coach Tony Kemper said. “Our first and third quarters were not good on offense. One thing that I was happy with in the first half was that while the offense was hard, our defense stayed consistent. We made them earn baskets and kept them down. If we didn’t have that great focus on the defensive end then we would have had a pretty big hole offensively.
“I’m happy that we ultimately got it done but I know that we have to continue to progress and get better.”
Pearson nearly had her third career double-double as she also tallied nine rebounds. Junior Kristen Mayo finished with 11 points and freshman Savannah Wheeler had 10. Redshirt senior Khadaijia Brooks was also close to a double-double with 10 boards and eight points. Senior Ashley Saintigene had a season-high five blocks and already has 15 for the year. She needs just four more rejections to reach the century mark. Saintigene also added nine rebounds and had two steals.
Sophomore Kia Sivils scored four points and had three rebounds. Senior Princess Clemons led the team with three assists, had one steal and three boards. Junior Dazha Congleton scored four points and added a career-high three blocks. Freshman Paige Shy played a season-high ten minutes and had four rebounds, including a great hustle play late in the game going down to the floor in the paint after running in from the perimeter on a Herd missed shot.
Both teams struggled out the gate in the first quarter. Marshall and Coppin State combined to shoot just 7-of-38 from the floor. The Herd was 3-of-16 (18.8 percent), the Eagles were 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) and each team had 17 rebounds in the period. Coppin State took its only lead of the game in the first with 2:57 to go and the score at 6-4. Marshall trailed at the end of the first 10-7.
The Herd began the second quarter with an 8-0 run through the first four minutes. Pearson hit back-to-back three-pointers and then sank her third of the quarter after Coppin State finally scored in the period with two free throws. The Herd defense played well holding the Eagles to just six points in the quarter and shooting 2-of-10 from the field. Marshall shot 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) from the floor and 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from three. The Herd went in at the half leading 28-16.
The third quarter was another offensive struggle for both squads. Marshall shot just 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) and Coppin State hit on 3-of-15 (20.0 percent) from the field. The Herd added two more points to its lead by the end of the quarter and went into the fourth leading 40-26.
Marshall’s offense got moving again in the fourth quarter, this time shooting 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the floor. Pearson and Wheeler both scored seven points in the period. Marshall’s defense held Coppin State to shooting just 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from the field, however the Eagles converted all 12 free throw attempts. Coppin State outscored Marshall by one, 21-20, but the Herd was still able to respond and keep up the Eagles’ deficit.
Marshall returns to the court on Thursday at 5 p.m. against Morgan State in the Cam Henderson Center.