Marshall Beats Morehead Women, 66-53

MOREHEAD, Ky. - Marshall women's basketball held Morehead State without a field goal for the final seven minutes of the game, until a desperation three-pointer fell with 10 seconds remaining, to beat the Lady Eagles 66-53 in action at Ellis T. Johnson Arena last week. Marshall leads the all-time series 21-19 in winning the 40th all-time meeting between MU and MSU.

Prior to the deep Megen Gearhart deep trey for Morehead, LaKrisha Brown's go ahead layin at 7:10 to play was the last field goal the Lady Eagles (3-1) would muster as Marshall broke a two-game losing streak. A Jill Justice three-pointer, only her second in 13 shots, opened the flood gates for Marshall (3-2), as it went on a game-ending 24-9 run after Brown's field goal.

Senior Sikeetha Shepard-Hall took leading scorer honors for Marshall with 15 points and hit 7-of-11 shots on the night. Crystal Champion added 14 points and seven rebounds and Reshundra Smiley had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Modupe Ishola had only three points, but gathered 13 rebounds and held Brown largely in check until late in the second half. The Herd shot 45.3 percent for the game, but just 16-28 (57.1 percent) at the free-throw line.

MSU's Brown, a transfer from St. Louis University, scored 18 points and had 18 of Morehead's 35 rebounds, as Marshall won the battle on the boards by seven (42). Gearhart and Anitha Smith-Williams each scored 12 apiece, with Smith-Williams coming off the bench to score ten in the first half to keep the Lady Eagles within five, 31-26, at halftime.

"They've scored 100 points a couple of times," said Marshall head coach Royce Chadwick after the game, "and they do it with an inside-out attack. I felt like they really never got the three-point shot going and we did a really good job of being there on (their) catches."

The Herd was held scoreless for the first 3:10 of the second half until Shepard-Hall scored on back-to-back fast break lay-ups to keep the Herd lead after MSU closed the gap to one point. After exchanging buckets for the next seven-plus minutes, the Lady Eagles managed to knot the game at 42-42 when Gearhart nailed two-straight treys and took only their second lead of the game at 44-42 when Brown sank a jumper in the post. Marshall quickly answered with a Kendra King bucket Then Champion drove to the goal for two-points plus a foul. She hit her free throw and bumped the Herd lead to three.

Junior Teyonka Hodge made her season debut by coming off the bench at the 6:18 mark of the first half. She quickly made her presence known by coming up with a steal in the post a minute later and an assist for a Champion jumper. She finished with six points, two rebounds, two steals and a game-high seven assists in just 19 minutes.

New Morehead State head coach Matthew Mitchell was dealt the first loss of his coaching career on Wednesday, as the Lady Eagles drop to 3-1 on the season. MSU had been averaging 90.0 points per contest coming into the game, but was stymied by a quick Herd defense.The win was Marshall's fourth straight over Morehead State, and third straight at Ellis Johnson Arena, named for the former MSU and MU head men's basketball coach. The Herd has taken the last 11 of 14 meetings in the series.

Shepard-Hall's 15 points moved her into fifth place on Marshall's all-time scoring list, surpassing Karla May (1982-86). The senior now has 1,217 points in her career and next up is Shelia Johnson (1987-91) in fourth place with 1,326 points and Tammy Wiggins (1983-87) in third with 1,360 points. Shepard-Hall, 0-1 from behind the arc last night, also needs 15 three-point goals this season to set a new MU record, trying to pass Cindy McCauley (1994-98) with 131 and Natal Rosko (1994-98) with 136 in a career.

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