Herd Ready for Action at Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Thundering Herd will continue a time-honored tradition at the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic when it faces in-state rival West Virginia, Saturday. Tipoff is set at 1 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, W.Va.

The game is set to be televised by WOWK (Huntington-Charleston CBS affiliate), and live stats will be available through the women’s basketball schedule page at HerdZone.com. The official live radio broadcast can be found online or through WMUL 88.1 FM, and live updates will be available through@HerdWBB on Twitter.

HAVE YOU HERD?
Freshman Chelsey Romero (Queens, N.Y.) took advantage of her first career start for the Thundering Herd by recording her first double-double (14 points, 14 rebounds) in an 86-42 defeat of WVU Tech, Monday, at Cam Henderson Center. Marshall’s 86 points marks the most-ever scored under coach Matt Daniel, and is the most scored by the Herd since Nov. 11, 2011, when it defeated Kent State, 93-50.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
Marshall’s defensive performance has been one of the most effective so far this season in Conference USA. The Herd’s three-point field goal percentage defense is a C-USA best of .225 (27-of-120). Marshall ranks second in C-USA in scoring defense (56.3 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.351). Led by junior Chukwuka Ezeigbo’s (Trenton, N.J.) 2.14 swats per game, the Herd’s blocking ranks third in C-USA (4.71 per game).

CHANGING IT UP
Coach Matt Daniel has started three different combinations over seven games, and each of the Herd’s three wins have come with different starting lineups. Redshirt senior guard Erica Woods (St. George, Bermuda) and junior guard Leah Scott (Detroit) have started every game for Marshall so far.

BENCH BENEFITS
Marshall is reaping the success of its bench players, who have contributed contributed an average of 26.7 points per game. The Herd’s bench has outscored opponents’ benches by 15.1 points per game. The largest bench margin came versus Southern Illinois, Nov. 27, when Marshall scored 41 points to the Salukis’ 11.

CONTROLLING THE BOARDS
The Herd has out-rebounded four of its seven opponents, and its rebounding margin of +7.0 is ranked second in Conference USA. Marshall is 3-1 when grabbing more boards.

Junior Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.) is averaging 3.17 offensive rebounds per game, rounding out the top four in Conference USA. Her total 7.4 rebounds per game ranks 13th. She is also averaging 2.14 blocked shots a game for the Herd, good for fifth place overall in the conference.

GOING POSTAL
Marshall’s tandem of centers, freshman Chelsey Romero (Queens, N.Y.) and junior Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.), boast the highest pair of field goal percentages on the team at .520 (13-of-25) and .489 (22-of-45), respectively. Ezeigbo’s mark of .489 ranks 13th overall in Conference USA.

MAKE IT RAIN
Against WVU Tech, Dec. 9, the Herd totaled 13 treys (13-of-36), the most scored since sinking 14 versus West Virginia, Jan. 18, 1995. Marshall’s mark of 6.71 made three-pointers ranks second in the conference.

AKERS, FROM DOWNTOWN
With 14 made three-pointers, freshman McKenzie Akers (Princeton, W.Va.) is ranked second in Conference USA. She leads the Herd from three-point range with a .400 percentage – tied for sixth in the conference. Akers made a career-high four treys against WVU Tech, Dec. 9, going 4-of-10. She became the 13th Herd player all-time to attempt 10 threes in a single game.

SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia (7-1) will look to continue its seven-game winning streak in Saturday’s contest. The Mountaineers have not lost since a season-opening 70-61 defeat by Ohio State, Nov. 8. Led by senior Christal Caldwell’s average of 15.5 points per game, the team has outscored its opponents by a margin of 20.3. WVU was picked tied for third with Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Preseason Poll.

Saturday’s game will continue Marshall’s longest running series with the 53rd consecutive meeting with West Virginia. The Mountaineers lead the all-time rivalry, 36-16, and have won the last eight. Last season, WVU defeated the Herd, 64-48, at the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic (Dec. 4, 2012). Marshall’s last victory over WVU came Jan. 11, 2005 (82-76), in Charleston.

UP NEXT
Marshall returns to Huntington to begin a four-game home stretch, beginning with Wofford, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m. For all the latest information about Herd women’s basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter.

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