MU Women Beat CMU 73-56

It had been three losses in a row for the Marshall women's basketball team, dropping directional games to Western Michigan and West Virginia around a trip north to lose at Buffalo. Saturday, the women re-centered themselves and took it out on Central Michigan by the score of 73-56 in the Rose Arena in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Marshall improved to 11-6 overall, 3-3 in the Mid-American Conference. Center Catie Knable scored, as usual, a "double-double" for the Herd.

Knable scored 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Floyds Knobs, Indiana, senior also became just the fourth women's player at Marshall to top 800 rebounds in her career with the seventh board of the day. Knable is now at 803 rebounds for her career, just six behind Tammy Wiggins (809, 1983-87) for third place.

Knable needs 89 rebounds over the final 10 regular season games to pass Karen Pelphrey (891, 1982-86) for second, which seems to within reach for Knable, who is averaging nearly 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. MU's all-time leader for women's rebounding is Kristina Behnfeld, who had 1,101 in her career (1995-99).

Marshall received a huge scoring punch from sophomore guard Sikeetha Shepard-Hall, who hit her career-high 10 field goals on her way to 24 points, most by any player on this year's women's team. Shepard-Hall, who with Knable was a pre-season All-MAC East Division selection, hit 10-of-18 shots, 3-of-3 at the line, and scored 12 points in each half.

Marshall entered the game shooting 41 percent from the floor, but posted a season-high 54.4 percent shooting on 31-of-57 in the game, including 58.3 percent in the second half. The Herd's strong shooting percentage for the game came in large part by the play of by two of Marshall's freshman players, who were perfect on the day.

Point guard Teyonka Hodge was 4-of-4 shooting, to go with three assists, two steals and one rebound. Forward KaShawna Curry was even better, hitting 5-of-5 shots for 10 points and added eight rebounds, one assist and one block. While Marshall was heating up the nets, the Herd defense was smothering the Central Michigan team. The Chips hit only 9-of-27 in the first half, only 33 percent, and held CMU to 38 percent for the afternoon (19-50). Central only hit on four of 20 three-point attempts. Central has not won in the MAC this season and only four times in the season (4-13, 0-6).

"Our team defense was much improved," said Marshall head coach Royce Chadwick to MU sports information assistant Brandon Parro after the game. "When we play good defense, our offense is much better because our confidence is up." Chadwick commented on Shepard-Hall's performance, which was more in line with what most Marshall fans expected after she made the All-MAC freshman team last season and averaged 15 points per game. "She has great skills," said Chadwick. "With more experience, (Shepard-Hall) will be a great player every night."

Marshall will close out January play on Tuesday night, when the Miami RedHawks come to town for a key East Division MAC battle. Marshall will then begin play in second month of 2004 with a road trip to Akron on February 4. Both games will tip off at 7:00 p.m.


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