Women Smack Akron, Ohio Squeaks Past Men

Marshall women's basketball calmly cruised past Akron, 72-52, in the Henderson Center on Saturday. Meanwhile in Athens, Ohio, the Marshall men's team came oh-so-close to nipping the Ohio Bobcats. OU got the last-second win, however, 70-65 ...

Marshall 72, Akron 52:
The Marshall women pressured the Akron Zips into 18 turnovers via defense, and hit a respectable 45.3% of their shots to calmly cruise past Akron 72-52 in front of a noisy 692 at the Henderson Center in Huntington on Saturday. The game was Marshall's final regular-season game, pending a possible MAC first-round tournament game next week.

"The difference in the game today was our team defense," Marshall coach Royce Chadwick said. "I'm very excited that we're playing the way we're playing at this time of the year."

Marshall's Amy Reed snags one of her 8 rebounds against Akron on Saturday.

Indeed. Sikeetha Shepard-Hall put up a game-high 19 pints, while both Christina Harbin and Ida Dotson each added 13 points for Marshall. Marshall's defense allowed only one Zips player in double figures, Raegan Johnson with 16.

Marshall enjoyed a 37-26 lead at the half, and endured two runs by the Zips in the second half by turning up the defense a notch and creating turnovers. That, combined with Akron's dismal 27.6% shooting in the second half enabled the Herd to keep the lead at double digits for most of the game.

Marshall now has a 11-15 overall record, and a 7-8 MAC record, the team's best since Marshall re-joined the MAC in 1997. Akron fell to only 2-24 overall and 1-14 in the MAC with the loss. The Herd now readies for the final regular season game at Miami of Ohio on Tuesday night.

Ohio 70, Marshall 65:
If not for a last-second steal by Ohio's Thomas Stephens, Marshall could very well have waltzed out of the Convo in Athens, Ohio with a win instead of a loss on Saturday. Marshall was only down one, 66-65, with under 10 seconds remaining in the game when Stephens made the pick. He was immediately fouled and made the two free throws, all but icing the win for the Bobcats. A Senior Day crowd of 8,669 watched at the Convo.

Marvin Black put up another double-double against Ohio, with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while teammate Ron Blackshear led all scorers with 21 points. Both teams shot very well for the game, with Ohio (52%) getting the edge over Marshall (46%).

"Blackshear is a tough match-up, he really is," said Ohio coach Tim O'Shea. "8-for-21, we held him to a tough percentage (.381) and that's what you want to do with a guy like Blackshear. He's going to score against everybody. There's just no way you can completely shut him down."

Ohio bumps up to 11-14 overall, 7-9 in the MAC with the win. Marshall drops down a notch to 12-13 overall, an even 8-8 in the MAC with the loss.

Note: Ohio University's sports information office contributed to this report.

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