PARKERSBURG - No. 15 Glenville State will look to extend its winning streak for first-year head women's basketball coach Charles Marshall to six games come 5 p.m. today when the Pioneers take on Bowie State (5-1) in the Sheetz/Herb Sims Classic at Bluefield State College.
GSC, which has won seven of its first eight contests and entered the week leading Division II in 3-pointers made per game (13.4), is coming off an 86-83 victory Monday at Winston-Salem State. It was just the second game this year the Pioneers were held below the century mark. GSC is averaging 105 points an outing.
Of course, one of coach Marshall's concerns on Monday night was allowing Winston-Salem to rally late in the game to even things at 83 before Ginny Mills hit a game-winning 3-pointer.
"We let that late lead slip away. We need to do a better job once we are up to put the game away," said the coach. "I was a little disappointed. We'll get better as time goes on.
"The one thing about it, our girls have a never die, never quit attitude and it makes it enjoyable to coach. They play so hard and with them being mostly seniors they know how to win in those type of situations."
Mills, who led the team in scoring last year but is averaging just 8.3 points this year as she recovers from July ACL surgery, is happy with the way things are going.
Bowie State (5-1)
vs. Glenville State (7-1)
Game time: 5 p.m. today
Place: Sheetz/Herb Sims
Classic at Bluefield
"I think we have a very talented team," Mills said. "We're just trying to find a rhythm and I think it's coming along really well finding the groups who have good chemistry."
The Pioneers, who often sub five new members into the lineup at a time, began the week ranked second nationally in turnover margin (plus-14) and 11th in scoring margin.
Kenyona Simmons (16.8 ppg) leads the Pioneers in scoring, but five other players are in double figures - Keyanna Tate (14.5), Tasia Bistow (13.0), Kenyell Goodson (12.4), Tiffani Huffman (11.9) and Ashleigh Fossett (10.6).
"I think you got to have some tough games early on that's going to push you and challenge you and get you prepared for later in the season," added Marshall, whose only loss was to No. 2 Gannon earlier this year by six points.
Aside from having six players scoring 10-plus points a night, GSC point guard Jessica Parsons has a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Parsons has just 11 turnovers compared to a team-high 45 assists. Pioneer pivot Aesha Peters leads the team with 19 blocked shots and is second in rebounding with 5.5 a game.
"Teams are going to come ready to play us. We just have to make sure we are ready, prepared mentally and physically focused on the task at hand that night," added the coach.
"I'm excited about coming back (for Mountain East Conference play in January) once we take care of business this weekend. I know the girls will be excited to get away for a little while. They've been working really hard up until this point and they can get away and spend a few days with family, come back and we'll go back at it again."
On Saturday, Glenville State has a 2 p.m. tip versus West Virginia Tech. The Pioneers return to the hardwood in 2014 with a home date on Jan. 4 against West Virginia State.