Women’s team hosts Marshall

Zach Baker and Zach Baker

Coming off their first road win in the Mid-American Conference Saturday against Akron, the women’s basketball team returns to Anderson Arena tonight against Marshall.

There are only three games remaining in the Falcons schedule, as the Falcons look to improve their placement in the MAC tournament.

BG coach Curt Miller said the game against Marshall would be an interesting test for the Falcons. He said it’s important for the Falcons to dictate the game.

“It’s going to be a contrast in styles, and so the game it becomes is very important,” Miller said. “Marshall is by far the best rebounding team in the league, and we are by far the worst rebounding team in the league, so something’s got to give.”

Marshall is 5-8 in the MAC, and 9-15 overall. Miller said they would give the Falcons offense and defense some problems.

“They pose a ton of matchup problems for us defensively,” Miller said. “Offensively, they’re going to pressure us, and we are going to have to control that pressure.”

Miller named two players for the Thundering Herd that BG is most concerned about. The first is forward Catie Knable, who grabbed 21 rebounds against the Falcons last season. Knable is averaging 7.6 points and 9.7 rebounds in 13 MAC games.

“She jumps to mind right away because she’s not only big and strong, but she’s athletic and has a nose for the ball,” Miller said. “She’s the inside presence that we’re really worried about.”

From the outside, the Falcons are worried about guard Sikee Shepard-Hall, a transfer who is averaging 13.7 points in 13 MAC games.

“She can really get herself to the basket,” Miller said. “What she’s done better during their stretch where Marshall is playing better basketball is…she’s made a lot of three’s.” Miller said Marshall is different from other teams they have played this season.

“In our conference they stand alone,” Miller said. “There are teams that are as physical as them, but they don’t combine the athleticism with their physical play. That’s what makes them unique.”

Despite the challenge, Miller said he is confident in his team. He said that the Falcons have made progress in the past month, “We’re definitely playing better basketball, and unfortunately it hasn’t always equated in wins,” Miller said. “We feel like we’re peaking again,heading into the conference tournament.”

With three games remaining, Miller said he feels a sense of urgency from the team’s seniors, but at the same time, said that the team’s freshmen may start to feel the strain of the long season.

Miller said that the production from the bench hasn’t been as strong in the last few games.

“It’s a long year for the freshmen, and this is the part of the year where the freshmen really struggle to get their second wind,” Miller said. “We’re getting what we’re supposed to be getting from our starters, but we haven’t had as good a bench performance in the past few games. I’m hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel with the season energizes our bench, and we get better play out of our freshmen and some of our younger players down the stretch.”

The game tonight begins at 7 p.m. BG’s next game will be on Saturday, on the road against Kent State. That game begins at 2 p.m.