Simms nets 33 as Lady Monarchs defeat Herd women


Simms Nets 33 as Lady Monarchs Defeat Thundering Herd

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Jennie Simms scored 33 points to lead visiting Old Dominion to a 94-85 wire-to-wire win over host Marshall Thursday evening in the Henderson Center.

The win lifted the Lady Monarchs to 15-11 overall and 10-5 in Conference USA, while the Thundering Herd dropped its seventh in a row to fall to 12-14 and 4-11.

Simms made 11 of her 18 shots, including four of five from 3-point range, to go with nine assists and seven rebounds. Destinee Young (15 points) and Annika Holopainen (14 points) combined to shoot 12-for-17 from the floor and posted seven rebounds apiece. Keyana Brown blocked four shots.

The Thundering Herd got 26 points from Talequia Hamilton, who made eight of her 11 shots and hit a career-high 10 of 11 free throws to go with eight rebounds. Kiana Evans chipped in 18 points and eight rebounds as well, while Taylor Porter posted 14 points and Asheika Alexander had 13.

The game was littered with fouls as ODU got whistled for 28 to Marshall’s 26.

Marshall did a better job with turnovers Thursday, committing just 10 errors to ODU’s 17, leading to a 22-14 edge on points off those miscues for the home team. The Thundering Herd also more than doubled up the visitors in steals (8-3).

ODU jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter (21-11) on a layup by Odegua Oigbokie at the 2:11 mark. The Thundering Herd responded with a 7-0 run to end the stanza, however, and trailed by just four (22-18) at the end of one.

The Lady Monarch lead got out to 10 again in the second quarter before the Thundering Herd closed it back to one (37-36) on an Evans layup two minutes before halftime.

The lead was four (53-49) when Evans hit another layup at the 5:41 mark of the third quarter, but ODU grabbed control of the contest with a 13-2 run over the next four minutes, one second to go up 66-51 on a Young layup at the 1:40 mark.

Marshall whittled the deficit to six (85-79) with 1:29 left in the game after an Evans three-point play, but ODU hit its next six free throws to pull away for the victory.

The Thundering Herd had a good day at the free throw line, converting on 77.4 percent (24-for-31), including an 88.9 percent mark (16-for-18) in the fourth quarter.

However, ODU did a good job on Marshall’s leading scorer Shayna Gore (17.3 points per game), limiting her to just seven points on 2-for-11 shooting (1-for-6 from 3). The Lady Monarchs also beefed up its perimeter defense in the second half, allowing the Thundering Herd to hit just one of its 12 long-range attempts after Marshall made half its shots from there (3-for-6) in the second quarter.

The Thundering Herd faces a hungry Charlotte (17-9, 9-6) team Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Henderson Center. The 49ers have dropped four games in a row, including its last three by a combined five points.

The program will honor Evans, Hamilton, McKenzie Akers and Madison Morris in a pregame ceremony. Marshall will also take part in the Coaching for Literacy program on Saturday.

Marshall coach Matt Daniel

On positives from tonight:

“Eighty-five points is enough to win the game. We have to fix our defensive focus, our effort, our intensity and our sense of urgency. We need to fix defensive rebounding, but 85 points is enough to win a basketball game.”

On not giving up:

“On the flip side of that, it’s a shame that we let this one get away. We just have to focus on defensive schemes and assignments and if we do that, I think it will help us. Our team is young. I think we’re more mature than we’re showing right now, so we have to worry about growing up and getting the first stop and the first score.”

On Asheika Alexander:

“She’s coming on, and that’s what you hope for freshmen. It’s certainly welcome because we need all the bodies we can get. We’re pretty beat up.”

On Hamilton and Evans:

“They mean a lot and we’re better with them. To do the things that they’ve done and what they’ve been able to do with their time here, considering where they’re coming from … it’s been a joy coaching them.”

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