Lack of depth hurts MU women in Capital Classic loss
CHARLESTON -- Sometimes it is a matter of who has the numbers on their side.
The Marshall Thundering Herd women's basketball team had three players log more than 30 minutes on the floor (Shay Weaver would have played all 40 had she not fouled out with a minute left) and played only eight players, while West Virginia University worked with a rotation of 12 in Tuesday night's 64-48 win for the Mountaineers in the Capital Classic.
The Herd dug itself out of big holes a couple of times, but trailed by double digits the entire second half, and head coach Matt Daniel said fatigue was a big factor.
"It's always an issue; it's an issue for us in practice," Daniel said.
"Our coaches are out there running in practice including the old guy they let call the time outs," Daniel said, raising his hand and indicating himself.
Marshall only had 10 players dressed for the game, and while Daniel is working hard on the recruiting trail, that won't help out this season.
The players said it's not something they really think about on the court.
"I feel like we're in such great shape that we don't really get tired," said Leandra King, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
But, from the sideline, Daniel sees it as an issue.
"It was definitely a factor tonight, and it will continue to be a factor all year long," he said.
Daniel said depth might have factored in the Herd going 5-17 (29 percent) from the free throw line, even though the foul shooting wasn't something he particularly wanted to discuss.
"Everybody says don't talk about the free throws," Daniel said with a bit of a smirk. "There isn't a kid in the country that's trying to miss a free throw. We're trying to hit every shot. Some of that is fatigue, the depth issue. Some of it is a lack of mental focus, and that's the toughness we're talking about.
"It's not just physically tough, it's mentally and emotionally tough."
However, Daniel did sum up the night at the line rather succinctly.
"That was atrocious," he said. "I thought there was a lid on there at one point, but I checked with the officials, and there was no lid. It just wasn't going down."
Daniel said there were some tears in the locker room after the game, which the first-year coach had yet to see from this team. He said he saw that as a sign that the team is coming together.
"It's starting to mean something, that's for sure," Daniel said. "When you're starting to feel accountable, like you let your teammates down, and that's the big picture."