A stonewall defensive effort combined with three players earning double-digit point totals helped Marshall women’s basketball push to its first Conference USA win of the season against Houston, 65-41.
Marshall improved to 10-3 (1-0 C-USA) for the season, while Houston dropped to 1-12 (0-1 C-USA). The 10-3 record is the best standing the Herd has had since the 2003-04 season and it is the best start in Marshall’s C-USA history.
Lateidra Elliott drained 3-of-4 three-pointers in the game and led the Herd in total points with 11 while finishing with a team-high four assists. Jasmine Shaw followed with 10 points and Rashedah Henriques combined for a season-high 10 points as well.
Marshall grabbed 59 rebounds, marking the most boards earned in a contest since the 2008-09 season. The Herd totaled a plus-20 rebounding margin over Houston and was led in the category by Alyse Poindexter and Leandra King with eight each.
“We are a good defensive team at this point and time, but what makes a great defensive team is whenever we finish with a defensive board,” commented associate head coach Roxanne White. “We have been giving teams second chances too many times and I thought our kids took that to heart. That is what rebounding is all about is your desire and heart, while keeping your fundamentals and making sure you work hard to secure the rebound.”
On defense, Jasmine Shaw and Victoria Wells each tallied three steals and the Herd as a whole combined for 10 steals, compared to the Cougar’s five. Wells also recorded a block in the game, but King led the team with two blocked shots.
The game remained scoreless for the first four minutes of play until Poindexter scored the first points of the contest at the 16:35 mark. The first five minutes of the game showcased four Marshall steals, three of which were by Wells.
Shaw and Elliott supplied back-to-back three-pointers with 4:45 left in the half to top off a 17-4 run, making the score 27-8. The Herd went into the locker rooms with 34-20 lead.
Marshall held Houston to only seven made shots from the field in the first twenty minutes and forced the Cougars to shoot 0-for-7 from behind the arc. On the opposite end of the court, 20 of the first 30 points scored came from Marshall’s players on the bench.
Henriques opened up the second half by making the 50th three-pointer of her career to extend the lead to 40-24.
15 different players saw court time in the second half and the Herd closed out the game with a 65-41 victory. Included in the mix was Victoria Ruiz, who saw the court for the first time since November 23 because of a prolonged injury.
Overall the defense limited the Cougars for less than a 25 percent average from the field and lower than a 20 percent average from beyond the arc. The Herd finished with 18 made shots from the field and was close to 50 percent in three-pointers with a 7-for-15 mark.
Marshall returns to Huntington, W.Va. for their next game against Tulsa on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be offered on 88.1 WMUL-FM and online at www.marshall.edu/wmul.