Women’s Basketball to Conclude Texas Trip at Rice

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HOUSTON – Looking to break a three-game slump with its first Conference USA win, the Thundering Herd (7-9, 0-3) will take on the Rice Owls (9-7, 2-1), Saturday, at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.

Links for live stats, live video and live radio will be available through the women’s basketball schedule page at RiceOwls.com, and live updates will be available through @HerdWBB on Twitter.

HAVE YOU HERD?
A late offensive surge by North Texas prevented the Thundering Herd from gaining its first Conference USA win, as Marshall fell, 63-50, at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas, Wednesday evening. The Herd ended with 19 turnovers, the most since committing 19 versus Morehead State, Nov. 18. Marshall also struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 8-of-16 (.500), the lowest percentage since going .500 at Robert Morris, Nov. 12. For the fifth-consecutive game, the Herd was outrebounded (41-37).

Despite the loss, senior Suporia Dickens (Freeport, Ill.) grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds while contributing eight points. Norrisha Victrum (Columbia, S.C.) had seven assists, her most since making eight versus Wofford (Dec. 19), and played all 40 minutes. Leah Scott (Detroit) ended with a team-high 15 points, her fifth-consecutive game in double-digits.

MAKING HERD HISTORY
Three Marshall players have inked their names into the Herd record book, this season: junior AJ Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.), freshman McKenzie Akers(Princeton, W.Va.), and Victrum.

Johnson made five three-pointers against UAB, Jan. 11, tying the third-place Herd record for threes made in a single game. Johnson also became the ninth player in Marshall history to attempt the second-most three pointers in a single game when she shot 11 versus Navy, Dec. 29. In addition, she and Akers both attempted 10 threes in a game this season, tying for eighth place in the record book.

Marshall’s 71-56 defeat of Wofford (Dec. 19) saw two records, with Johnson going 4-of-5 from behind the arc (.800), the sixth-best performance in Herd history. Victrum went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe versus the Terriers, good for ninth-most free throws made in a single game at Marshall. Her mark is also a single-game high under coach Matt Daniel.

BLOCKS IN THE BOOKS
With one swat versus Tulane, Jan. 9, junior Chukwuka Ezeigbo (Trenton, N.J.) moved into a three-way tie for 12th place in the Marshall record book for career blocked shots (55). She needs five more to tie 11th-place holder Deanna Carter, who blocked 60 from 1978-82.

Ezeigbo’s 36 blocks last season are tied for eighth place in Herd history, and her seven swats versus Indiana State (Nov. 12, 2012) are the fifth-most in a single game at Marshall.

‘VICTRUM’ OF CIRCUMSTANCES
Sophomore guard Norrisha Victrum (Columbia, S.C.) has made quite an impact for the Herd of late. She leads Conference USA with an assist/turnover ratio of 2.2.. Notably, her career-high 24 points against Wofford (Dec. 19) are the most scored by a player in coach Matt Daniel’s two seasons and are the most by a Herd player since Tynikki Crook scored 25 in a 71-67 home win over Cleveland State, Dec. 18, 2010. Her eight assists and 12-made free throws versus Wofford are also single-game highs under Daniel.

SPREADING THE WEALTH
The Herd’s offense has found success across its roster, as seven different players have led the team in scoring this season. Scott tops all Herd scorers with 12.3 points per game. Four different players have led the team in rebounding, with Dickens currently topping the charts with 7.4 boards per game.

CHANGING IT UP
Coach Matt Daniel has started seven different combinations over 16 games, and five of the Herd’s seven wins have come with different starting lineups. No Herd player has started all 16 games, however, Scott has started all but one game.

SCOUTING THE OWLS
Rice (9-7, 2-1) is coming off an 82-68 triumph over Louisiana Tech (Jan. 15) and have now won five of their last seven games overall dating back to December. In the win over the Lady Techsters, the Owls established season-highs in points (82), field goals made (32), field goal percentage (.542) and assists (26). In addition, senior forward Jessica Kuster moved into first place on the Rice career rebounding list with a 15-rebound performance. This season, she tops the Owls in scoring with a double-double average of 20.1 points and 13.6 boards per game.

Rice leads the all-time series versus Marshall, 5-3, with all five victories coming at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls have won three of the past four meetings, including a 71-61 overtime victory last season in Houston. In that contest the Owls rallied from 15 points down with 7:35 remaining in regulation to force overtime.

UP NEXT
Following a seven-day break, Marshall return will return home to host Tulsa at Cam Henderson Center, Saturday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. ET. For all the latest information about Herd women’s basketball, follow @HerdWBB on Twitter.

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