Marshall falls far behind in road loss
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Kareem Canty rang up 28 points Saturday and it wasn't nearly enough for the Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball team.
Canty scored 17 in the first half, but none of his teammates had more than five, and Penn State pulled away early. The Nittany Lions (7-3) cruised to a 90-77 victory before a turnout of 5,633 spectators in the Bryce Jordan Center.
"I thought we ran into a little bit of a buzz saw," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said. "I give Penn State a lot of credit this afternoon."
Penn State out of the Big Ten Conference had a double-figure advantage just slightly more than three minutes in. Marshall (4-5) reduced an 11-1 deficit to 13-11 before the home team scored the next seven.
Donovon Jack of the Nittany Lions scored off an offensive rebound that made it 47-27 before Canty scored the final five points of the first half, including a 3-point heave from just across half-court at the buzzer.
The Herd deficit grew to 27 with 10:35 left in the game.
Marshall's offense went south for the day with 39.4 percent field goal shooting and a 16-for-30 (53.2 percent) performance on foul shots.
Elijah Pittman and Shawn Smith both added 10 points while TyQuane Goard had nine in his second start filling in for injured Ryan Taylor, who hurt his knee in a practice during the week. Cheikh Sane collected eight rebounds and Goard grabbed seven, but Penn State won the board battle by plus-seven.
Marshall played at the fast pace it favors, but transition defense was lacking.
"I thought our quick shots and our bad offense really lead to tremendously poor defense in transition," Herrion said. "We got exposed early and often. Transition defense let them get too many easy baskets, get their confidence going. We know how good an offensive team they are.
"Defensively, we were really poor today, which contributed mightily to giving up 90 points. Not going to win many games giving up 90, home or away."
Penn State was right on its season average with 48.5 percent shooting that included eight dunks, and better than normal at the foul line at 81 percent, 17-for-21.
All five Penn State starters scored in double figures led by forward Ross Travis with 20 from off the bench. Jack had 18 points and seven rebounds while tying the school record with seven blocked shots.
Jack, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, wasn't aware of how many shots he blocked, saying he was just out there playing hard.
"Seven blocks in a game is incredible," said Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers. "That's an athletic team. It's not like he's doing it against anybody; he's doing it against Marshall."
Penn State guards D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier scored 17 and 11 respectively. Forward Brandon Taylor added 10 points.
Chambers said it was important to have a good start and maintain the lead. He noted Marshall's loss Thursday at Vanderbilt where the Herd nearly completed a sizable comeback in a two-point game.
"The way Marshall plays; they try to speed you up and take you out of your offense," Chambers said. "We prepared for that. I felt like our guys took good, open, in rhythm type shots. They're long, they're athletic, they speed you up. It could go the other way, too. If you're not making shots, if you're not making layups, if you don't hit your free throws early it could go the other way."
Canty's points surpassed the freshman point guard's previous high of 19 he scored in three earlier games. Pittman was 1-for-6 on foul shots and slumped to 10-for-28 in the last three games.
Marshall went 0-3 on its road swing and has another game away from home Saturday against West Virginia University (6-3) at the Capital Classic in the Charleston Civic Center. WVU plays a 9 p.m. Tuesday home game against Gonzaga on ESPN2.
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