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HUNTINGTON — Marshall’s women’s basketball team has seen plenty of success over the last month.

The Thundering Herd is one of Conference USA’s hottest teams, having won five straight entering a trip to Texas.

Marshall head coach Tony Kemper knows that he’s seen a special look in his team’s eyes over the last few weeks, but this week’s trip will certainly tell him much more about his team.

The Herd heads to North Texas for Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. contest before a Saturday matchup with Rice.

Those two teams represent two of the top Conference USA programs from last season and two that have high expectations each season.

“It’s going to be two big tests in Texas and it starts in Denton on Thursday night,” Kemper said.

Last season, Marshall’s late-season surge came with splitting series with North Texas and Rice, as well as C-USA champ Middle Tennessee that set the tone for the future.

Marshall (8-4 overall, 3-0 C-USA) has continued that success in league play from the end of last year with wins in its first three Conference USA games in 2021-22, all by at least 15 points.

On Saturday, Marshall trailed entering the fourth quarter before Savannah Wheeler and Brianah Ferby took the game over, scoring 26 of the team’s 31 points to turn that deficit into a 15-point win.

Such mental toughness will be needed again for the Herd to earn wins in Texas, Kemper said.

“I think we’ve been really level-headed about what the goal is when we go into these games,” Kemper said.

Kemper said one major reason for the team’s resurgence during its five-game winning streak has been everyone’s willingness to work together.

That includes communication on the floor, which has aided the team’s defense, and the bench staying active and loud, which maintains the energy.

“This group, their chemistry is really, really good right now,” Kemper said. “The challenge is continuing that.”

Quincy Noble leads North Texas (6-5, 0-1 C-USA) at 15.7 points per game while Aly Gamez is adding 12.5 points for a balanced Mean Green attack.

Marshall is led by Wheeler, who is averaging a Conference USA-best 20.9 points per game.

Kennedi Colclough is averaging 14.2 points but her status is unknown for the road trip after she missed last week’s win at Florida Atlantic due to a knee injury.

Following Thursday’s game, Marshall will travel to Houston to face Rice at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Grant Traylor is the sports editor of The Herald-Dispatch, who also covers Marshall athletics for HD Media. Follow him on Twitter @GrantTraylor.

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