Brown Gets Career-High 27 in 78-64 Win at Marshall
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Ivy Brown scored a career-high 27 points to lift visiting WKU to a 78-64 win over host Marshall Saturday afternoon in the Cam Henderson Center.
The win moved the Lady Toppers to 18-6 overall and 10-2 in Conference USA, while Marshall dropped to 12-11 and 4-8 in the league.
Brown’s 27 bettered her previous mark of 26, which also came in Huntington in an 80-76 WKU victory on February 14 last season. Last season’s performance was bolstered by a 5-for-5 3-point effort. This time around, all of her points came from the field (8-for-13) and the free throw line (11-for-13). She also had a game-high nine rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
Kendall Noble, the reigning league Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, had a double-double effort of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Noble and Brown were held to a combined eight points in the first half but posted 37 in the second twenty minutes.
Marshall was led by Shayna Gore’s 18 points and seven assists. She made six of her 11 shots, including four of six from long range. Talequia Hamilton added 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting before fouling out late in the contest. Taylor Porter chipped in 11 and had a team-high six rebounds.
The Lady Toppers held notable advantages in points in the paint (38-24), points off turnovers (22-12), second chance points (17-9), bench points (9-1) and steals (9-1).
The Thundering Herd came into the game leading the league with just over eight 3-pointers per game and finished with nine on 20 attempts. They are also C-USA’s best defending the 3-point arc (28.8 percent) and improved that number again Saturday, allowing just a 20 percent clip (4-for-20). The Lady Toppers struggled from the outside in the first half (4-for-17) against Marshall’s zone defense, but found a way around and through it in the second half as they tried just three shots from outside.
Turnovers were again a big number as WKU committed just eight to Marshall’s 19, though the Thundering Herd did a better job in the second half when it was charged with just seven.
Marshall came out firing in the first quarter and took a four-point lead (18-14) on an Ashley Saintigene free throw 15 seconds into the second stanza. That was short-lived, however, as WKU responded with a 17-2 run over the next seven minutes, 57 seconds to take an 11-point advantage (31-20) on a Brown layup.
The Thundering Herd found an answer as well, ripping off an 18-4 run over the end of the second and beginning of the third quarters to take a 38-35 lead on a Porter layup just over three minutes into the second half. She also hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 49-all with 37 seconds left in the quarter and the Thundering Herd rebounded a Noble 3-point miss at the other end. However, WKU’s Makala Frank got a steal and Noble picked up the loose ball and converted a three-point play to give the visitors a 52-49 lead through three quarters. That sequence lit the match on a 26-point fourth quarter for the Lady Toppers, where they made 10 of 15 shots from the field.
Marshall’s best quarter was the third, when it scored 24 points and made 70 percent of its shots, including four of seven from downtown and all six of its charity tosses.
Hamilton recorded one blocked shot and is now three shy of Lisa Pruner’s (1980-84) seventh-place mark of 87 in the school’s all-time records.
The Thundering Herd will be back in action next week when it heads to UAB on Thursday (8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT) and Middle Tennessee on Saturday (3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT).