MU Women Win Fifth-Third MU Classic

Marshall used a weekend-high 23 points from tournament Most Valuable Player Sikeetha Shepard-Hall to upend the High Point University Panthers 90-70 in the championship game of the Fifth-Third MU Classic on Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center to claim its second consecutive Fifth-Third women's basketball title. Shepard-Hall, a sophomore guard, went 8-for-13 from the field, including 2-for-2 from downtown, adding six assists (tied career-high), two steals and two rebounds.

She was joined on the All-Tournament team by senior teammate Nadia Swanigan. The forward tied her career-high point output from Friday's victory over Morgan State with 11 points in the championship game to go with three steals and two assists in only 15 minutes of play. "We've got a good team, we're going to do some big things this year," Swanigan said.

"We had the better players," Marshall head coach Royce Chadwick said. "When we come together to play better as a team, we're going to be pretty good." The final score was not indicative of the competitiveness of the championship contest, as High Point (1-1) challenged the Thundering Herd (2-0) all afternoon. Marshall led 40-31 at halftime, thanks in part to Shepard-Hall's 18 points at the break. Another Herd senior, Catie Knable, controlled the game's opening tip to Shepard-Hall, who promptly drove to the goal for a quick 2-0 lead. The game was extremely tight until Marshall went on a 12-0 run and lead 37-24 with 2:23 to play in the first half.

Knable was responsible for six rebounds, seven points and five steals. Marshall's third senior player, guard Amy Smith, scored 13 points and had four offensive rebounds and six rebounds total. Marshall's defense out-hustled the Panthers to the tune of a 17-9 steal advantage with the Herd scoring 40 points coming off turnovers. "Our offense comes from our defense," Shepard-Hall said. "That's how we're going to win games." For the second straight game, Chadwick started two freshmen in Teyonka Hodge and KaShawna Curry, daughter of former Marshall men's center Tom Curry (1984-88). Hodge once again played brilliantly at the point guard position, nabbing four steals with three assists and five points. Curry was 5-for-8 from the floor with 10 points and a steal.

In the consolation game, Murray State (1-1) bounced Morgan State (0-2) by a 66-42 final. Murray's Stacy Holmes tallied 15 points in the victory. Marshall will get a short rest before taking on the Radford Highlanders on Tuesday, November 25, at the Henderson Center at 7 p.m.
Tournament MVP
Sikeetha Shepard-Hall, Marshall
Fifth-Third MU Classic All-Tournament Team
Candace Holmes, Morgan State
Stacy Holmes, Murray State
Katie O'Dell, High Point
Candyce Sellars, High Point
Nadia Swanigan, Marshall

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