Daniel instructing Marshall women to protect home floor
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University women's basketball head coach Matt Daniel is all about protecting his home court.
Whether in recruiting or in-season, Daniel simply does not want to lose when there's a battle to be had in Huntington.
Honestly, that approach helped lead him to Marshall.
He was 43-6 at home over his final three seasons at Central Arkansas, including a perfect 16-0 record in the 2011-12 season.
That's why he was so happy Thursday to see his team find a way to scrap out a 52-46 win over Furman after falling to Ohio in its previous home contest.
The loss to Ohio was Daniel's first regular-season home loss on the sideline since a 76-72 overtime loss to Northwestern State on Feb. 2, 2011.
"I'm pleased that our kids were able to close out and continue to try and protect home court," Daniel said. "Our goal is not to drop any at home and we've already done that once, so I was hoping we were eager to get out there and play again."
On Saturday, the Herd women take part in their final home contest of the year 2012 when Tennessee Tech comes calling to the Cam Henderson Center.
Once again, Daniel wants his team to protect the floor.
It won't be easy against a Tennessee Tech team that comes in to Huntington having played extremely tough competition at the St. John's Christmas Tournament.
The Golden Eagles lost a pair of games -- a 58-46 loss to host St. John's, followed by a 73-58 loss to St. Mary's.
Tennessee Tech (5-6) has also played the likes of Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee State, Akron and Rice already this season. In their only matchup with a Conference USA foe, the Golden Eagles defeated Rice 78-65.
Diamond Henderson leads Tennessee Tech with 16.5 points per game, but point guard Jala Harris might be the most dangerous player for the Golden Eagles coming into the contest.
She's coming off a 22-point performance against St. Mary's and has seen success against Marshall in the past.
As a freshman, Harris played for UAB and finished with 40 points in her lone contest at the Cam Henderson Center -- an 85-84 Marshall win in double-overtime over the Blazers on Jan. 30, 2010.
Harris was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year in that 2009-10 season.