The loss, coupled with Kent State's win at Miami (Ohio), drops Marshall (17-9, 11-4 MAC) into a first-place tie with the Golden Flashes in the East Division. The Thundering Herd's hopes of a first-round bye in the upcoming MAC Tournament are now in jeopardy as KSU owns the tiebreaker with MU due to its wins over EMU and Bowling Green. The Herd will take on Akron in Tuesday's regular season finale while Kent State will face the last place Buffalo Bulls.
Eastern Michigan (21-5, 11-4 MAC) never trailed and its command of the game was never in doubt. The Eagles pounced on the Herd from the opening tip and quickly built a 9-2 lead. EMU unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers in the game's first seven-plus minutes by hitting its first four long range attempts and four of its first five, led by two apiece by Coleman and senior Erika Ford.
Marshall was within four points, 15-11, at the 14:12 mark after center Modupe Ishola hit a layup, but Ford, who was one of two Eagles to be recognized for senior night, nailed two straight treys. The teams traded baskets for the next seven minutes until EMU ended the first half on a 15-4 run to enter its locker room up 50-31.
Ishola was 5-for-6 for 11 points in 14 minutes off the bench in the first half, while Coleman was 5-for-8, including 3-of-4 from downtown for 13 points, six assists and five rebounds.
The Eagles were an eye-raising 8-of-12 from 3-point range at the half and posted 16 assists on their 19 field goals. Sophomore Sarah VanMetre was 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Marshall came out rejuvenated after the break to score the second half's first six points, highlighted by a Sikeetha Shepard-Hall 3-pointer off an assist from Kim Griffin. EMU, though, would take back those points in a hurry to grab another comfortable lead aided by a Coleman bucket and foul for the traditional three-point play. The Herd showed more signs of life when its press produced back-to-back steals and layups at midcourt to get the deficit down to 12 points, prompting a Suzy Merchant timeout.
From that point on it was all Eastern Michigan, as the defending MAC Tournament champions went on a back-breaking 15-0 run to balloon its lead to 29 points, 72-43, at the 10:44 mark. Marshall never cracked the Eagles' 20-point lead the rest of the way, finishing the game with a Mary Pat Statler 3-pointer with four ticks on the clock to get to within 20.
Marshall's Teyonka Hodge took team leading scorer honors with 14 points while KaShawna Curry, Shepard-Hall and Ishola all finished with 13 points apiece. Curry led the Herd with eight rebounds while Griffin dished out four assists.
EMU's Nikki Knapp scored 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
Marshall has now dropped two straight games following its 12-game win streak.
Although EMU had its way with Marshall's defense with all five starters reaching double figures, the Herd can take solace in the fact that four players were particularly effective from the field. Shepard-Hall, Hodge and Ishola all finished 6-of-10 shooting and Curry was 6-of-11.
As a team, EMU shot 50.8 percent from the floor and dealt the Herd its first loss of the season when it reached the 70-point plateau. The Eagles' 93 points is the most the Herd has given up this season and the 20-point loss is its worst since Western Michigan dropped a 24-point loss on MU last season at home.
EMU finished the game 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) from downtown while Marshall was 3-of-11 (27.3).
Marshall will honor its senior class of Griffin, L'erin Scott and Jamie Kellerman before Tuesday's matchup with the Zips at the Cam Henderson Center. A win and a Kent State loss would give Marshall the East Division title and a first-round bye. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.