Herd women win first Sun Belt Tournament game

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023


Marshall Athletics

PENSACOLA, Florida –The first appearance for Marshall’s women’s basketball team at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament turned out to be a successful one.

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Marshall’s women used a strong defensive effort and a huge performance from Abby Beeman to advance to the SBC Tournament quarterfinals with a 60-53 win over Coastal Carolina at Pensacola Bay Center on Wednesday afternoon.

 With the win, Marshall (17-13) advances to take on top-seed James Madison in Friday’s quarterfinal at 12:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. CT.

“Obviously, that’s a great win for our program to find a way down here,” Marshall head coach Tony Kemper said. “It was very much the game that we anticipated and the game I think Coastal Carolina anticipated, too. It started defensively for us. I thought we did just a really good job on Aja Blount and Deaja Richardson.”

Marshall’s defense limited Coastal Carolina to just 25.9 percent shooting in the contest while forcing 20 turnovers.

Blount – an All-SBC First Team selection – hit just 4 of 20 shots on the afternoon while Richardson – an All-SBC Third Team selection – was limited to a 4-of-17 performance from the floor.

“That’s 8 for 37 from two players that the league thought very highly of,” Kemper said. “It started from there for us and we got timely offense.” 

The game hung in the balance until the final minute when Marshall found a way to make swing plays that led to the victory.

In a one possession game with 1:00 left, Aarionna Redman grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw in traffic that later led to a Sydni Scott 3-pointer off a feed from Abby Beeman which doubled Marshall’s lead to 57-51.

“It was probably the difference in the game,” Kemper said. “We still would’ve had the lead if we wouldn’t have gotten that, but we did get a little breathing room and made it a multiple possession game.”

Beeman was the catalyst on both ends for the Thundering Herd in the win. She finished with 19 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals.

“I know that’s what I’m capable of so I was trying to play to my capabilities,” Beeman said. “That’s what the team needs and I’m happy we got this first one out of the way. I’m looking forward to more.”

Marshall opened its largest lead of the first half following a flurry from Beeman, who knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and added two steals – one of which led to a 3-point play from Roshala Scott – as the Herd built a nine-point advantage.

Roshala Scott finished with 16 points for Marshall while Sydni Scott knocked down four 3-pointers en route to 14 points for the Herd.

Scott’s four triples were part of a 9-of-19 shooting performance from 3-point range for the Herd.