Four Marshall players scored in double figures as the Thundering Herd's win over Central Michigan kept the overall win streak at five, and the MAC streak at four games in a row. The fact that Marshall never trailed in the game spoke volumes to coach Royce Chadwick.
"We played enough defense to win the game," Chadwick said, "and our offense was pretty good."
An early 6-6 tie exploded into a 38-20 MU lead with 2:52 left in the first half, as The Herd turned 10 CMU turnovers into a quick 16 points. Reshundra Smiley was the main culprit in Marshall's first-half run, scoring a quick 10 points (including 2-of-3 three pointers) in only 12 minutes of play.
"Our main focus was to get on the boards and play physical," said Marshall forward Crystal Champion. Both Smiley and Champion would share high-scoring honors in the game, each scoring 16 points.
Kim Griffin drove the baseline against Central Michigan. Griffin was one of four Marshall players to score in double figures.
In the second half, Marshall endured two mini-runs by the Chippewas. Reshundra Smiley effectively ended the first run by CMU, hitting consecutive threes at the 9:33 mark. Those baskets kept the Marshall lead solid at 16 points.
Teammate Kim Griffin also helped keep the Central Michigan rally in check, scoring 9 of her 15 points in the second half. Griffin's final stats proved daunting. In addition to the 15 points, Griffin also led Marshall in assists with 8, had 2 steals, no turnovers, and grabbed 4 rebounds.
"I'm not really concerned with the stats," Griffin said. "Just happy to get the win."
Griffin's layup with 2:47 left gave Marshall a commanding 20-point lead at 76-56. Central Michigan managed three late steals with the game out of reach, cutting the final margin to 79-69.
"That's not the way we intended to finish," said coach Royce Chadwick.
Marshall now stands at 10-7 overall, 4-2 in the MAC, and prepares for a home game against the Toledo Rockets on Saturday afternoon in Huntington. Chadwick sees the five-game winning streak that began with the win over WVU as being the result of finding a player rotation that works.
"Our first five are beginning to get the chemistry they have to have," Chadwick summed up. "We have a good rotation now. Our players know their roles and are filling into their rotation spots."