HUNTINGTON — Marshall’s women’s basketball team hits the road for a pair of contests in Conference USA action this weekend, starting with Thursday’s 7 p.m. matchup with Charlotte.

Marshall (7-8, 2-2 C-USA) is coming off a strong performance in a 61-56 win over UAB in which Taylor Pearson scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds while freshman Savannah Wheeler added 15 points.

Defense was the catalyst for the Herd, who limited UAB star Rachael Childress to a 2-for-17 performance from the floor to earn the win.

As the team looks to use that momentum moving forward, Marshall will again have its hands full with one of Conference USA’s top performers in Charlotte’s Jade Phillips, who is averaging 15.7 points and 10 rebounds per game for head coach Cara Consuegra.

Mariah Linner is also in double-figures for the 49ers at 11.2 points per game.

For Marshall, it all gets down to starting strong in a contest.

When the Herd leads at the half, the team is 7-1.

In games it hasn’t led at the break, the team is winless in seven opportunities.

Defense will again be the Herd’s mode of operation, led by the interior presence of Ashley Saintigene, whose 43 blocks on the season lead Conference USA.

Saintigene’s numbers are already tied for the sixth-best single-season block total in Marshall history and she’ll look to add to that number on Thursday.

Wheeler leads Marshall with 12.5 points per game while fellow guard Kristen Mayo is averaging 10.9 points per game.

Following Thursday’s contest, Marshall hits the road to Norfolk, Virginia, where the Herd takes on Old Dominion at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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