Herd remains perfect during Canada trip, beats Western
LONDON, Ontario -- Marshall defeated Western University, 81-68, Sunday at Alumni Hall to improve to 3-0 on its five-game Canadian tour.
Redshirt freshman guard Kareem Canty scored a game-high 24 points and added six assists and four rebounds to lead the Thundering Herd. Sophomore forward TyQuane Goard went 8-for-10 from the floor and totaled 18 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Elijah Pittman had 16 points and five boards.
Everyone who played scored with the exception of Ryan Taylor. In what was a physical game, Taylor suffered a minor ankle injury, an apparent roll, in the first half and left as a precaution.
"It was our third game in three days so obviously we were fighting some fatigue," Herd coach Tom Herrion said. "Ryan Taylor goes down with an ankle injury early and then Shawn Smith gets into foul trouble. We basically were playing with a seven-man rotation."
Eric McDonald and Gabe Soicher each had 14 points to lead the Mustangs. Western attempted 36 three-pointers and made just six. The Mustangs shot 33 percent from the field for the game (29-87).
Marshall led 27-18 at the end of the first quarter and 50-33 at halftime. Just like Saturday, the Herd saw its opponent rally. A dunk by Soicher cut the deficit to 65-61 with 8:01 remaining. Marshall led 68-64 with 6:13 to play, then went on a 13-4 run to end the game.
"Here's a team in Western who is very unique style offensively, like a Princeton-esque offense with the spread and a lot of cutting," Herrion said. "Some of these guys are learning these offenses for the first time and learning on the fly. It's been a great learning experience.
"The only thing that I was concerned with today was our rebounding situation. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds (25). Our defense was really good as we held them 6-of-36 from three and that's a team that relies on the three-point shot."
For the third consecutive game, Marshall shot over 50 percent with a 53.1 percent mark. The Herd outrebounded the Mustangs 51-44.
Marshall continues the tour Monday with a game at 8 p.m. against McMaster University in Burridge Gym in Hamilton. McMaster last played an NCAA team at home in 2004. The tour -- five games in five days -- concludes Tuesday with a game against A Game Hoops at 4 p.m. in Hamilton. A Game prides itself as Canada's top developmental system.
"This trip was done for a lot of reasons and one was to challenge our group and clearly we will be challenged tomorrow evening," Herrion said. "McMaster is a very good ball club and they are very well regarded in the Canadian University system. We are going to have our hands full and hopefully we will be able to get some rest having played a Sunday afternoon game."
The NCAA allows teams to compete in exhibitions outside the country once every four years. Marshall last played out of the United State in September of 2005 when it played two exhibition games in Nassau, Bahamas. The Herd has won at least its last 19 exhibitions, including wins over Y Cares Wreckers and Real Deal Shockers Basketball Club on that trip to the island.
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