Marshall’s hot shooting of recent games never surfaced on Saturday afternoon as the Herd dropped a 60-50 contest to Louisiana Tech at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, Louisiana.
Marshall (9-13, 4-7 Conference USA) shot just 29 percent for the game and 20 percent from 3-point range in the loss, which snapped a two-game winning streak.
“Days like today illustrate why we have to come with the same intensity and approach, every time out,” Marshall head coach Tony Kemper said. “I just didn’t think we did that today.”
The offensive struggles were a bit of a surprise, considering the Herd came into the contest having scored 80 points in consecutive games and the Lady Techsters came in as Conference USA’s worst team in field goal percentage defense and 3-point defense.
Many of Marshall’s misses were from in close as the Herd couldn’t find the mark on several layup attempts, which led to extended periods without points.
After falling behind early, the Herd tried playing catch-up throughout the contest and cut Louisiana Tech’s lead to three points on four occasions in the second half.
However, Louisiana Tech (11-11, 3-8 Conference USA) used an 8-0 run — forged by three missed Herd layups — to increase its lead to double figures in the final minutes.
Louisiana Tech got the win despite playing without leading scorer Keiunna Walker, who missed the game due to a family emergency.
Amber Dixon and Grayson Bright picked up the slack for the Lady Techsters with Dixon scoring 16 points and Bright adding 14 points and nine rebounds in the win. Raizel Guinto also had 11 for Louisiana Tech.
Savannah Wheeler got 14 points to lead Marshall, but was saddled with foul trouble in the second half and never got going.
Wheeler’s inability to overcome fouls loomed especially large with Taylor Pierson and Kristen Mayo each also struggling offensively.
Pierson, who had a career-high 21 on Thursday in a win over Southern Miss, was just 2 of 11 and finished with six points. Mayo was just 2 of 12 and had only four points.
The contest started poorly for Marshall, which fell behind after hitting just two of its 16 attempts in the first quarter.
The Herd used a late second-quarter run to close within 22-17 at halftime.
Marshall returns to action at 6 p.m. on Thursday when the Herd hosts UTSA at Cam Henderson Center.
MARSHALL 80, SOUTHERN MISS 65: Marshall University women’s basketball team outscored Southern Mississippi 27-18 in the fourth quarter to pull away for an 80-65 Conference USA victory Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum at Southern Miss.
Marshall started quickly, leading 21-8 after the first quarter and built its advantage to as many as 14 points before settling for a 44-32 halftime lead.
The Eagles rallied within 48-42 with 4:58 left in the third quarter, which ended with the Thundering Herd (9-12 overall, 4-6 C-USA) ahead 53-47.
Junior guard Kristen Mayo, scoreless through three quarters, scored five points early in the fourth period and finished with 12 to help push Marshall to a 62-55 lead. From that point, the Herd went on a 17-8 run to finish the contest.
Taylor Pearson led Marshall with 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Princess Clemons scored 14 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Savannah Wheeler scored 21 points, 10 at the free throw line, and added five assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
Alarie Mayze paced Southern Mississippi with 19 points, Respect Leaphart scored 16 points and snatched a game-high nine rebounds. Kelsey Jones chipped in 10 points.
The Eagles (11-10, 3-7) missed all-league selection Shonte Hailes, who missed the game with an injury. Hailes averages 16.8 points per game.