HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – Junior Ivy Brown tallied a career-best 27 points and C-USA Player of the Year candidate Kendall Noble logged a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists as WKU battled past Marshall, 78-64, inside the Cam Henderson Center on Saturday afternoon.
Brown scored 21 of her 27 points in the second half for the Lady Toppers (18-6, 10-2 C-USA) and WKU outscored the Thundering Herd (12-11, 4-8 C-USA), 26-15, over the final 10 minutes of the game. The Hodgenville, Ky., native also fell just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds while adding a block and a steal on the day.
After being held to 12-of-33 (36.4 percent) shooting in the first half, WKU’s offense clicked over the final 20 minutes, knocking down 17 of its 30 chances (56.7 percent).
Shayna Gore led the way for Marshall with 18 points and was joined in double figures by Talequia Hamilton (16) and Taylor Porter (11). Porter logged a team-best six rebounds for the Thundering Herd, and Gore dished out seven assists on the afternoon.
WKU jumped out to an early lead, scoring the first five points of the game behind a three-pointer from Micah Jones and a long jumper from Kyvin Goodin-Rogers. Marshall fired back over the next three and a half minutes, however, to cut WKU’s lead to just one point, 10-9, after back-to-back baskets from Gore.
With the Lady Toppers leading, 14-12, with just under three minutes remaining in the quarter, Marshall netted the final five points of the frame, punctuated by Logan Fraley’s three-pointer with 11 seconds to play. The Thundering Herd carried a 17-14 advantage after the opening 10 minutes.
Marshall’s lead grew to as many as four points, 18-14, early in the second quarter before WKU pieced together a 17-2 run to claim its first double-digit lead of the game. The Lady Toppers held Marshall without a point for more than six minutes during the stretch, and Ivy Brown’s layup with 1:48 to play gave WKU a 31-20 edge.
In the final 90 seconds before halftime, Marshall scored five points to cut its deficit to 31-25 heading into the locker room.
Marshall scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half to pull even with WKU, the first of seven ties in the third quarter. Following that early deadlock, neither side could gain an advantage of more than three points over the 10-minute frame, and the Lady Toppers took a 52-49 lead into the fourth quarter following Noble’s three-point play with under one second on the clock.
Ivy Brown opened the fourth quarter with another three-point play for WKU, the start of an 11-4 run that pushed the Lady Toppers to a double-digit lead. Brown netted seven points during the run and Whitney Creech’s layup with 7:12 to play gave WKU a 63-53 edge over the Thundering Herd.
Down the stretch, Marshall was unable to push any closer than eight points as WKU claimed its third-straight victory in the 78-64 decision.
WKU will return to action next Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. (CT) with a trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to battle archrival Middle Tennessee in a battle for first place in C-USA. The Lady Toppers will be seeking their first regular season sweep of the Blue Raiders since the 2003-04 campaign after earning a 66-51 win in Bowling Green on Jan. 15.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.