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Herd hurt by lack of ball movement

Dec. 23, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- 'Tis the season for sharing all across the nation as Christmas approaches.

Yet sharing on Marshall's team is a major issue at this point.

In Marshall's 82-54 loss to Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, the Herd finished with just six assists on 18 made field goals in the contest.

That's six field goals in 40 minutes of basketball, a near 1-to-3 assist-to-turnover ratio (17 turnovers total) and a 28-point loss.

It's not exactly a statistic that is going to spread Christmas cheer for Marshall coach Tom Herrion.

"Our offensive inefficiency right now is just absolutely destroying us," Herrion said. "Today wasn't against pressure (defense)."

It's understood that the Herd is undermanned at the guard position with Kareem Canty not being cleared to see the floor this season and DeAndre Kane out for the next few weeks with a broken hand.

But in times of injuries and adversity, that's when players have to band together for a team to be successful.

That's not happening for the Herd as the team heads into Christmas break.

Need further proof?

Here goes.

Marshall trailed 33-24 at the break after an initial 20 minutes that saw the Herd have just three assists.

That lead quickly was cut to 33-31 in the first minute of the second half as Marshall scored seven points in a matter of 60 seconds.

The key? Sharing the basketball.

In the quick spurt, D.D. Scarver had a pair of assists after solid team ball movement that cut the lead to two points.

In the final 19 minutes of the contest, the Herd had just one assist.

That is exactly how a two-point game can turn into a 28-point loss in one half.

The lack of ball movement resulted in one-on-one basketball on several occasions, and that often ended with shots being forced up during the final 19 minutes.

It's no surprise that Kentucky followed with a 29-6 run over the next 10 minutes to seize control as the Herd amassed just one field goal.

The Wildcats have terrific individual talents, as assembled by head coach John Calipari. If you get into a one-on-one, NBA-styled game with them, chances at victory are not going to be favorable.

As Marshall heads into its four-day break, Herrion and his staff's focus will be on figuring out a way to improve the Herd's offensive efficiency, which starts with its ball movement.

"We're coming back off the break to make some adjustments because offensively, right now, we're just killing ourselves," Herrion said.

It is not an easy fix for the Herd, but with 10 days before the next contest, distributing the basketball will take center stage during practices leading up to the Jan. 2 game against Delaware State.

After all, 'tis the reason for the season - basketball season, that is.

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