Herd Dominates WV Wesleyan, 72-40

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall women's basketball team opened its exhibition season on Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center with a convincing 72-40 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan...

Thirty-six of the Thundering Herd's 72 points came in the paint, aided by 14 points off the bench from center Modupe Ishola. The 6-foot-2 junior went 6-of-9 from the floor with eight rebounds - four offensive - in 18 minutes of play. Senior Reshundra Smiley, also a non-starter, paced the Herd attack with 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Smiley paraded to the free-throw line in the second half, converting 7-of-9 attempts.

"We showed that we have some depth," head coach Royce Chadwick said. "If our team can continue to improve and be happy for each other's roles, we have a chance to be a very good team.

"The biggest challenge we have as a coaching staff is to put the five out there that can win us the most games."

Reshundra Smiley drove the lane against WV Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. Smiley led Marshall with 17 points in the exhibition win.

Marshall's bench outscored West Virginia Wesleyan's entire team with 47 points.

After only allowing 12 Bobcat points in the first half on 15.4 percent shooting, the Herd defense allowed Wesleyan to shoot 37.5 percent in the second half for 28 points. For the game, Marshall shot 42.2 percent to Wesleyan's 27.6 percent.

"We have a lot to work on, but that's why we have exhibition games," Ishola said. "Defense is the most important thing."

The Bobcats tried to claw their way back into the game via the 3-point shot but converted only 3-of-18 from long range (16.7 percent).

Herd junior Crystal Champion pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with four points and two blocks. Senior guard Sikeetha Shepard-Hall netted nine points while backcourt mate Teyonka Hodge dished out seven assists.

Sophomore Jill Justice made her Herd debut with three points and three steals. Justice sat out last season after transferring from Clemson.

Sarah Van Horn and Maria Milfeit led Wesleyan scorers with seven points apiece.

Marshall will conclude its exhibition season next Saturday when it entertains Division II Glenville State at 4:30 as part of a women's/men's doubleheader.

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