It was one of those unique days for Marshall women's basketball coach Royce Chadwick when everything just went perfect. His Marshall women's team (8-14 overall, 4-7 in MAC) jumped all over the Ball State Cardinals with pressing defense, razor-sharp offense, and even the timeouts went smoothly.
"The difference in the game was the perimeter defense we were able to play to control their ballhandlers," Chadwick summed up after the win. "We played pretty well today. I think we've played our best basketball in the month of February, so far."
Ball State's Tamara Bowie -the MAC scoring leader- sat out the game with an undisclosed injury. Marshall took advantage of her absence, and the result was six Marshall players scoring in double figures, a first for this season.
"I don't think you can underestimate the effect that Bowie not being in the lineup has. She's such a great player," Chadwick said.
Catie Knable put up a 20-point, 15-rebound performance against Ball State.
Junior Catie Knable drained three three-pointers in the first half, enabling the Herd to shoot out to a lead that swelled to as many as 19 points. Knable finished with a season-high 20 points and 15 rebounds, her third double-double in a row. Sikeetha Shepard-Hall (15 points), Amy Reed (11 points), Cassie Hackworth (10 points), Ida Dotson (10 points) and Christina Harbin (10 points) all scored in double figures. The six double-digit performances were also a first for the team this season.
"We just executed well and didn't turn the ball over a lot," Knable said of her double-double. "When we do that, we're going to win."
Marshall stretched the lead to as many as 28 points in the second half, before Ball State closed the gap to the final 20 points.
Ball State shot just 40% from the field, compared to Marshall's 44%. The Herd's blistering three-point shooting (47.4%, including 9-of-15 in the first half alone) dominated the statisitical categories.
"This is the kind of basketball we want to play all the time," summed up coach Royce Chadwick.
The Marshall women next face the Kent State Golden Flashes on Wednesday night at 7pm in the Henderson Center.
Men's Basketball: Marshall 49, Miami 69
A dismal 14% shooting from three-point range doomed the Marshall men's squad against Miami on Saturday afternoon. That and the fact that Miami's Juby Johnson was on fire. Johnson dropped 21 points as Miami dropped the Herd easily, 69-49, holding Marshall to their lowest point output of the season.
Marshall's leading scorer Ron Blackshear was held to only 13 points in the game. "We just couldn't hit the ocean today," Blackshear said. "There are going to be games like this and you just have to shrug it off and move on. Miami did a good job today and deserved to win."
The Herd falls to 11-11 overall, 7-7 in the MAC, with the loss. Next up is Illinois State on Saturday, February 22 in the Henderson Center in Huntington, part of ESPN's Bracket Buster Saturday slate of games. The game is set for 2pm.
Randy Burnside of the Marshall Sports Information Office contributed to this story. Thanks, Randy!