Marshall women raring to go
HUNTINGTON -- The Marshall University women's basketball team was so eager to get the season under way that the Thundering Herd scheduled a lunchtime game to ring it in.
Actually, the Thundering Herd's noon, Friday, bout with Radford is part of a day-night doubleheader with the Herd men's team that jam-packs the first day of action at Cam Henderson Center.
But that doesn't make it any less exciting.
"We really want game-day to be a celebration of all the preparation that we put into it," said first-year Marshall head coach Matt Daniel.
The Herd women will be somewhat used to the early start to the day because under Daniel, the team has been starting its practices anywhere from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
It's all part of several changes to the way things are now done under Daniel, who comes to Marshall after leading Central Arkansas to three seasons of 21 wins or more.
Daniel's hope is that fans come out and see some more of the changes.
Marshall showed off its new up-tempo look in two exhibition victories, including last week's 67-50 win over Kentucky State when the Herd used an 18-4 run over a five-minute stretch near game's end.
During that time, the offense started clicking well for Daniel and the Herd as the team scored on seven of its eight possessions. The strong run took place against a Thoroughbreds team who had defeated Morehead State's women the night before.
The going will be much tougher for the Herd against Radford, who finished 16-15 last season and returns plenty of talent to the mix.
Radford returns its top four scorers from the 2011-12 season, led by senior guards Da'Naria Erwin-Spencer and Ashley Buckhannon. Erwin-Spencer averaged 17.4 points and 3.9 assists last year while Buckhannon netted 14.7 points and dished out three assists per game.
For Marshall, Jasmine Shaw and Orlandria Williams have stepped up in the early exhibitions to complement returner Shay Weaver, who is looking to flourish in the new offense.